Pick of the Week: 'Nikau Dancing with Flying Fish' by Paul Herbert
Paul Herbert's newest painting, 'Nikau Dancing with Flying Fish' is this week's Pick of the Week! Fresh to our Whangamata gallery walls, Paul's vibrant, eye-catching piece has already attracted lots of attention from our visitors who love his distinctive, highly stylized technique.
We love the dynamic sense of movement in this piece - the swaying nikau trees, gentle waves of the sea lapping against the sandbank, and the ghost-like fish with their delicate, translucent fins, captured flying in mid-air. These elements all combine to create a unique juxtaposition of stillness and movement - where the active, lively trees, sea and fish are anchored in a frozen moment by the very style in which they are depicted.
Paul's background as a graphic designer is often reflected in his paintings - with a natural sensibility for composition, Paul will often work with objects in odd numbers: in this case threes - three fish, three nikau palm trees. Creating a pleasing sense of harmony and aesthetic balance, the number three is considered to be lucky in some cultures, while it also has significance in many religions - notably the trinity.
Paul's characteristic black outlines allow the colours to really pop, and accentuates the refined shapes and details of each of the elements. A simple yet striking palette of azure blues, teals, and shades of forest green are layered in a negative space technique where the black is applied first as a ground. Paul can then utilize this to create shadows that appear effortlessly blended with an almost airbrush-like effect.
A modest size at 500mm x 760mm, 'Nikau Dancing with Flying Fish' nevertheless lures the viewer in to take a closer look at the details and finesse of execution. See this work for yourself at our Whangamata gallery!
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