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Smith, Gavin

Address: 397 Swarbrick Drive, Te Awamutu 3800 Waikato NZ
Phone: 07 871 5621 | 0274386502

My interest in drawing and painting stemmed back to my schooldays. However, I opted to pursue a career in sheep and cattle farming. When my farming days wound down, I was then able to re­establish my interest in watercolour painting. In doing this, I had very good response, which inspired me to carry on and spend more and more time painting.

It was at this stage that my wife Judy and I took ourselves off to England & Europe for two years. During this time, we had the ability to explore many of the famous galleries at our leisure which was extremely beneficial to me.

My European paintings depict the wonderful colours and light that are so prevalent in the Northern Hemisphere. We have had several trips back to Europe including one amazing holiday on the Canal du Midi which gave me so much inspiration.

I have attended workshops with David Taylor/Ross Patterson/Ben Ho to name just a few and from time to time teach students myself. I enjoy teaching my students the wonderful mysteries and techniques of watercolour.

In my early days of watercolour painting I wanted to paint everything within a scene. However, nowadays, I tend to pick an element that makes a good composition - "It's not what you put in a painting - it's what you leave out". Not quite as easy as it sounds! I keep telling myself to "keep it simple". A semi-controlled wash can be improved by lifting and turning the paper to get the desired effect. Also, having strong darker passages with lost edges can give a mystique appearance to a painting.

I am constantly striving to do better and over the past 20 years have won numerous awards ranging from Supreme Champion to Merits.

I have recently relocated from Cambridge to Te Awamutu and have set up a small gallery in my home at Highfield Estate.