The silent observers…

‘The Watchers II’ – Heaphy Track, West Coast. 2007, oil on canvas, 30 x 90cm 

Recently returned to the studio briefly for a varnish, ‘The Watchers’ is one of my favourites from the Heaphy Track on the West Coast. The last day of the five day hike is heading South along the beach through the forests of Nikau Palms (the worlds most southerly palm species). They stand like guardians of the coastline, fending off any invaders from the West. But at the same time adding a touch of tropical gentleness to the otherwise wild border with the sea. It’s an easy days walk and weaving your way through the giant palms you can’t help but feel the joy of life coursing through you……All the while silently observed by the watchers.


Varnish is used these days as a preference to glass. I always recommend that my paintings are varnished about a year after completion. It will help your work to last, and restore the colours to look as fresh as the day it came off the easel.
A good varnish protects the surface from dirt and grime. It also protects the paint pigments from the destructive power of ultraviolet light. Both these forces are entropic, and do their job over time. Varnish also brings dull paint out and brings the colour to life. It unifies various surfaces, and clarifies.
Another thing varnish does is protect the surface from various mishaps, like scratches.
I personally use gloss because the stuff used to make things non-gloss tend to fog the surface, and dull the paint. Gloss is also easy to clean and is also removable and repairable. All varnishes age and yellow, and being able to remove them and redo them over time is a big advantage. The varnishes I use can be removed and leave the paint underneath undisturbed.

So if you have one that hasn’t been done yet, get in touch!

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