At The Bay
Wellington Artist Richard Ponder
With a career spanning nearly fifty years, Richard Ponder has created several notable - and often imitated - art series, including, most famously, Wellington at Night. A well-respected artist, his discipline and eye for detail began back in the 1960’s as a geologist, when his thesis required the accurate drawing of hundreds of tiny creatures called foraminifera. In the late seventies, Richard’s brother Michael became interested in painting. Mike quickly picked up Richard’s knife painting technique and they challenged each other with new ideas and innovations, exchanging ideas and spurring one another on to become full time artists.
Richard’s love of roaming the New Zealand backcountry with his family led him to concentrate on landscape painting in the late 1970’s and early ‘80’s. Already, with his emphasis on composition and the interaction of between colours in different lights, he was beginning to show his true potential. During this period, many of his paintings were based on early morning observations, with the excitement of dawn with its variety of light and colour. The work from this era was published in the long since sold out, limited edition book, Quiet Places.
On the proceeds of his success Richard visited art galleries all around the world to gain a deeper understanding of the greats. He fell in love with the strength of Van Gogh, the impressions of Monet, the colour of Perceval, and the exhilaration of Pollock. Their influences can be found in his quiet paintings, but in the 1990’s he threw caution to the wind. The dramatic change in his art came about after a trip to Bali where he fell in love with the work of Affandi and Sumadiyasa.
Richard now works more freely, playing with the light and colour, so that his stunning art now takes centre stage wherever it is.