Tuesday, 4 December 2012

El Alamein Painting begins

I have been to many NZ war graves around the world with my job. but never get used to it. 
This week Im working on concept watercolours for the El Alamein composition. I have a few sketches from the trip and loads of photos...here are a few pics from last months amazing journey to Egypt with 22 El Alamein veterans. I hope to have the oil/metal composition up and running before Christmas...Ill post the concept drawings as they progress
NZ soldiers, airmen and sailors perform a Haka at the War cemetary, El Alamein

NZ army nursing officers at the war cemetary, El Alamein.

NZ Army nurses share stories with some of the NZ veterans 
70 years ago

Me with some camels, El Alamein

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Connecting Threads II Exhibition

The old tractor at Okuru beach, oil and tin on canvas

Kai Moana, oil and tin on canvas

Nana at Ngaruawahia, oil on canvas
Queens of Castle Point, oil and tin on canvas

Grant, Tilly and me at the opening

Since coming home from Egypt a month and a half ago, I have had my head down working on finishing 9 paintings and 2 bronze sculptures for my latest exhibition at The Parnell Art Gallery, Parnell, Auckland. Some of these works were already underway and needing some serious TLC and some were not even started. Im glad I was able to get everything done just in time...My theme was a flow on from last years collection of 6 works. Beach scenes and lots of sheet metal and horses...I have tried to give them all a distinct Kiwi flavour without being too cheesy. Keeping them all textural, dirty and splattery... most of the portraits are friends and family, posed to create intrigue and convey my own message in the art. As opposed with the exception of 'Nana at Ngaruawahia' to straight portraiture. I was really happy to see them all in the gallery after driving them up from Wellington in my old van the day before. And happy to see them bouncing off clean white walls...a far cry from my cluttered, messy studio. Although the opening was a bit light on the ground as far as people, I was pleased to see a few red dots appear throughout the night...
Solid Harmony, bronze
Wrangler II, oil and tin on canvas and The Bull rider, bronze

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

To El Alamein!

This weekend I travel to El Alamein with NZDF. I have the privilege of accompanying 30 NZ WW2 veterans back to El Alamein, Egypt...The site of the NZ Army's proudest victories in battle ... halting Rommel's tanks in the deserts of Northern Africa over 70 years ago. Travelling with these precious veterans is a very proud moment in my art career with NZDF. I have been commissioned to paint a painting/paintings capturing this commemorative trip and if possible linking it to the war years and NZ Army contributions in battle.
WW2 Army Artist, Peter McIntyre, El Alamein

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Painting in the Antarctic

Earlier this year I had the amazing opportunity to travel down to Scott Base, Antarctica, with thanks to Antarctic New Zealand Arts Fellowship and the New Zealand Defence Force. I had been commissioned to paint NZDF ship offloading crews and drivers working frantically against the on coming winter weather. The giant container ship was the 'Greenwave II,' full of food and equipment for both McMurdo Base and Scott Base. Along with the US Navy, about 30 New Zealanders braved the freezing conditions for two weeks to offload the giant vessels cargo, using 1950's trucks on a frozen Ice Pier. Only a canvas Nissan hut and potbelly stove to retreat to for an instant coffee and frozen sandwiches on the Pier. During my two weeks of reference gathering and photography I was able to visit some historic explorers huts and some scientists. McMurdo has become a buzzing maze of US science labs, accommodation blocks, supplies warehouses and diesel tanks. And a hotbed for research in Volcanology, Geology, Polar weather surveying, Marine biology and other earth sciences. While the smaller Scott base, only 10 minutes away looks like a moon base in comparison to the Siberian whaling shanty feeling of McMurdo. Considering McMurdo base used to be a US Nuclear Submarine base 50 years ago, it's put to a far more positive use these days. I stayed at Scott Base with 20 or so hardened Kiwis preparing to 'Winter in' and man the post and maintain equipment over the dark frozen winter.

Check out TV One's Close Up clip, following my experiences on the Ice and back at my studio getting the painting ready.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Bomber Command painting unveiling at Parliament

Last week, I finished the Bomber Command Painting commission...'Last Mission.' Check out the link on Flickr to see official unveiling pics.  It was unveiled at Parliament by Minister of defence Hon Jonathan Coleman and Minister of Veterans Affairs Hon Nathan Guy. I'm in uniform for this one. The intro before unveiling this painting was as follows...

"Hon Captain Matt Gauldie was selected by [then] Chief of Army Major General Mateparae in late 2004 to be the official Army Artist. To follow in the footsteps of former NZ Army Artists such as Peter McInyre and Russell Clarke. During Matt's seven year career as official Army Artist he has painted soldiering life in Afghanistan, East Timor, and Solomon Islands as well as numerous Army Exercises at Home and Official anniversary and memorial events, such as 'The Return of the Unknown Warrior' series. Matt's ability to capture a rich assortment of expressions in his portraits of everyday soldiers and eye for detail has captured a footstep in time and a unique chapter of NZ Army culture. 

Matt has now been appointed as an official NZDF artist by Leftenant General Reece Jones, Where he will have the opportunity to do artwork depicting all three services, adding to over 70 official works he has created for NZDF to date. 

Recently, Matt accompanied the NZ contingent of WW2 veterans, NZDF and VANZ staff to the London opening of the Bomber command Memorial in Green Park as official photographer. This painting 'Last Mission' / Bomber Command memorial' depicts two of the 32 veterans on the trip, Mr Austin and Mr Gutherie.  They are seen inside the cockpit of a Lancaster Bomber, with ghost pilot and gunner flying them into the sunset over the London Bomber Command memorial."