Our Rural Environs: Graham Christensen
The Feilding and District Art Society presents Our Rural Environs: an exhibition by Manawatu artist Graham Christensen.
Graham Christensen lives on a farm near Palmerston North and paints from a large, light-filled studio – a converted room at the back of the barn.
He regularly exhibits at the Feilding and District Art Society as well as various galleries throughout the Manawatu/Rangitikei region, including opening his studio annually for the Art Trail Manawatu.
Graham’s paintings depict his life-long love of farming and the unique landscape that New Zealand offers. His latest works are captured moments, many from his son’s beef farm in Pohangina Valley, that illustrate the peaceful beauty that surrounds us - if we take the time to look for it.
Graham was searching for a form of relaxation when he picked up a paint brush in his early 60’s - what he found was a life changing improvement in his mental health. Graham say’s “Painting is so peaceful, to me it’s like meditation. You are very mindful when you paint, you are concentrating on the paint and the movement of the brush. You’re not thinking about anything else and that makes my mind feel very still and spacious.”
Another benefit that he found, is that he now sees beauty in places he previously saw as ordinary. He’s always on the look out for inspiration or a new scene to paint and has learnt that by just taking a moment to stop and really look around, there is beauty everywhere. A mob of cows with their calves peacefully chewing their cud on a sunny afternoon, the contrast of light and the shadows along the fern-lined bank of a meandering stream, even a friendly conversation being held between farmers at the local sock yards invokes in the viewer a memory or a sense that you instinctively know that very scene - and are somehow part of the story.
The official opening of this event will be taking place at the Feilding Art Centre on Sunday 30th of January from 3pm.