What Inspires our New Zealand Landscape Artists?

  • 13 June 2017
  • Sarah Holden

Here at The Little Gallery, we are proud to represent many talented local Coromandel and New Zealand artists who take their inspiration from our beautiful country. Our beaches, mountains and landscapes strongly influence the work of many of our artists, with their colour, subject and medium choices. We take a closer look at some of the work by a few of our popular landscape artists here!

Sally Samins

Sally Samins grew up and studied in Australia, and now splits her time between Hot Water Beach, Coromandel and San Diego, California in the USA. Her background in photography and the graphic arts continues to make its way into her landscape and cityscape painting, informing her rich colour palette, strong compositional form and geometric logic.

Sally's paintings demonstrate a strong sense of abstraction and balance, as seen here in the vibrant 'Surfing Mars'. The burnt orange tones are reminiscent of the Australian landscape of her childhood, but Sally playfully subverts this reference through the work's title. Sally typically restricts her palette to a handful of colours, generating a focus on simple but striking compositional elements and an overall sense of harmony. The source of her image is constantly alluded to, but never given away.

Jennie de Groot

Originally from England, Jennie studied Archaeology in South Africa which was her introduction to the narrative in the landscape. Now based in semi-rural Ngahinapouri, Waikato, Jennie often paints plein air: on site, directly in front of her landscape subject. Her emphasis in her work is to find a balance between the continuums of suggestion and representation, familiar and unfamiliar, reality and imagination.

Jennie's work is distinctive in its heavy, textured application of paint. Typically using oils, she builds up layers to achieve an abstracted, atmospheric interpretation of a landscape. As seen in 'An Optimistic View' here, Jennie often uses colours that are evocative of a mood or emotional response, rather than employing a true-to-nature palette.

Rachel Olsen

Based in Flaxmill Bay near Cooks Beach on the Coromandel, Rachel Olsen's work has a distinctive Coromandel Kiwi flavour. We have a wide selection of Rachel's print works in the gallery, which encapsulate the Summertime feel of the coastal landscapes of the Coromandel. Rachel's work is much loved for evoking a sense of warm familiarity, reminding us of times and places close to our hearts.

Evident in works such as 'Flaxmill and Front Beach' pictured here, Rachel's depiction of the landscape is stylized, with an emphasis on bold, graphic lines and vibrant, saturated colouring. A strong sense of the warmth and affinity for the landscape Rachel feels is apparent in her work, and this is shared with the viewer.

Lisa Ormsby

Lisa Ormsby is an abstract landscape artist living in the small town of Otorohanga in the Waikato. She specialises in acrylic and mixed media, creating work that is inspired by her natural surroundings and uses the colours, textures and patterns of the environment as a reference point. Lisa's work has a strong textural element, often incorporating layers of media which give her work a sense of depth and complexity.

'When the Sky is Painted Pink' plays with shape and scale, exploring the convention of the horizontal landscape and the notion of the horizon. The gorgeous fuchsias evoke the intensity of a sunset, while the fragmented collage strips suggest an ever-shifting perspective or fracturing of light.


You can find out more about these artists, as well as our other Coromandel and New Zealand artists on our Artists page, or browse their work online and in the gallery in Tairua!


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