Matt Payne is a gifted young artist whose work is quickly gaining prominence on the New Zealand art scene. He graduated from Whitecliffe School of Art and Design in 2004 and since then has continued to paint and sell his work, which he now produces on a full time basis. Landscape features strongly in Matt’s oeuvre, and he is particularly inspired by a love of the coast. Glistening seas and pristine sands feature in his dramatic compositions, rendered with breathtaking accuracy.
Precise representations of particular moments in time evoke the mystery of the natural world. The translucency of a wave, dappled sand revealed briefly below as it breaks; the delicate foam lacing the water left behind as it rolls into shore; or the glassy sheen of tranquil water in the early morning, are all captured with meticulous quality and sharply focused detail.
The tradition of dark and light contrasts that are inherent in our landscape are also apparent, with bush covered hills and majestic rock formations starkly juxtaposed against sunwashed blue skies. This brings great depth to the work, the air itself from picture plane to distant horizon rendered full of salt, light and breeze. The endless possibilities of the relationships between colour, light and form provide an ongoing fascination for Matt.
Viewpoints are often close to the picture plane, bringing us into an intimate proximity with the serene essence of these landscapes, so completely captured by the artist. In the artist’s own words: “whether it is a landscape or a portrait, the aim for me is to capture the essence of what it is I’m painting. It can be an emotion, a feeling or a mood. I am fascinated by how an image is just tiny bits of colour joined or linked together like some sort of code. I love to explore the relationships between colour, light and form and how these elements are seen by the eye when they are put together.“