Gap in the Clouds
Walkway, Munchies Point
- 1010 x 760mm
- 1010 x 760mm
Lester EarlI was born on 11 February, 1949 in Wellington, NZ. My family moved to New Plymouth when I was 11 years old. I attended Devon Intermediate School and New Plymouth Boys’ High School. I always enjoyed art. My first foray was in kinetic op art. This was after I saw works by Jesus Rafael Soto and Bridget Riley at a London Gallery. It was like nothing I had seen before. I experimented and got commended for one work at the Taranaki art awards.
I have been tutored in art by Arthur [Texas] Tett. Colin Nichols and Donna Willard-Moore.I was always impressed with the sketching skill of Arthur Tett who was my art teacher at NPBHS. I always enjoyed his art classes, he was a great fan of William Blake. I attended night classes with Colin Nicholls. He could effortlessly fill a canvas, a great landscaper painter. I struggled, but did my best to pick up pointers. A course on colour with Donna Willard-Moore really got me enthusiastic about painting again. It was great motivation to see how artists like Margaret Scott were using various types of mediums.
For the last two years my paintings have had a Taranaki theme of ‘waves’ and Mt Taranaki.
I have surfed since the late sixties. The Taranaki coastline is so special. My awareness of the uniqueness of Taranaki scenery was heightened after working for two years in Kunming; New Plymouth’s sister city in China. A plateau city, about the same altitude of Fanthams Peak and miles from the sea.
Mt Taranaki dominates everything in the province. It is ever changing. Although I have tried other subjects in my recent paintings, I keep coming back to the mountain. I remember when I moved to Taranaki as a young lad, how surprised I was that Mt Egmont [as it was then] was not a perfect shape that was portrayed in calendars and on postcards. There was a huge spur on the southern side, it was rough and craggy. In my paintings of the mountain, I try to show the ruggedness of the mountain. It is not always picture perfect with a lovely coating of snow.