Journeys inspire Coast painter

Gulf Harbour artist Graham Young loves painting about as much as he loves travelling New Zealand’s highways and byways.

So, perhaps it is not surprising that he has produced another book of stunning images that represent both these passions.

New Zealand, A Painted Journey, released last week by New Holland press, presents 47 original paintings of iconic buildings and landscapes covering a large part of the South Island, as well as some favourite spots in the North Island.

“I paint what I love about New Zealand – its distinctive corrugated and weatherboard buildings, the quaint beachfront baches that look like they’ve been put up with Kiwi DIY skills, corner dairies and the abandoned sheds that tell of a bygone era,” Graham says. “And all under a big, blue sky.

“In some respects I think I’m capturing a feeling of yesteryear NZ, perhaps when life was more innocent.”

Originally from Liverpool in England, Graham, his wife Ingrid and their two young children, moved to New Zealand in 1982.

A trained photo-lithographer, he came for a career opportunity and stayed because he fell in love with the country.

Although he had nursed thoughts of studying art when he was young, his parents decided – “as parents did back then” – that he was better off getting a job. It wasn’t until he started to cut back on his work commitments 15 years ago that he was able to take up the brushes again.

Since then he has done about 180 paintings, which have been hung in numerous galleries and reproduced on calendars. His first collection of paintings formed the basis of his first book Lazy Days, Painting the Kiwi Lifestyle.

He paints in oil on stretch canvas and the originals range in price from $2500 to $5000.

New Zealand, A Painted Journey, by Graham Young, is available in local book stores.

Hibiscus Matters has two copies of New Zealand, A Painted Journey, to give away. To go in the draw write your name, address and daytime phone number on the back of an envelope and post to Painted Journey giveaway, Hibiscus Matters, Unit G, Tamariki Plaza, 18 Tamariki Ave, Orewa 0931. Or message Hibiscus Matters on Facebook. Entries close on Friday, March 1.

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