About Ian Hamlin

I’ve been painting fulltime since I left Greymouth High School at 17 so that’s 40 years now!

While I had qualified for Art School at the end of 1977, I decided to spend a year working to finance my studies; jobs were scarce in Greymouth at the time and I had a few commissions, so I began painting full time and had my first exhibition at the end of that year. It sold out and I never made it to Art School – I’ve just been painting ever since!

I exhibit in galleries throughout New Zealand and in the UK, USA and Australia and my work is held in collections worldwide. I’m an artist Life member of the NZ Academy of Fine Arts for which I served four years as President.

Ian HamlinAlthough predominantly an oil painter I also work in pastel and watercolour. My paintings are known for their attention to detail whether in panoramic view or intimate study, the effect of light and atmosphere are my major focus.

Ecological themes have always been a common subject of my paintings. Feelings about a time in a place or landscape inspire me; the experience or memory that come together to create the meaning of my being there, the search for who I am and my connection with that environment is what drives me to paint. A kind of distillation of concept, emotion and the play of light. From that place I feel compelled to share something of the experience, and hope I may also inspire the conservation of our beautiful planet. The implications of this intensely personal connection with the land have increasingly become a major feature in my work.

“This meticulous artist has a rare talent of being able to combine an exquisite use of light with brilliant and subtle colours; the results speak more eloquently than we are able to in our description.” – Max Beer, Lewis Paape Gallery

I live amongst the wonder of nature, with my wife Kate, at  ‘Hou Ngahere’ in the Marlborough Sounds (South Island) that we’ve covenanted with the QE II National Trust to return the farmland back to native forest. We also grow some olives and lavender for their oil. Our oil won a gold medal at the NZ Lavender Growers Awards in 2010.

Being the son of a Methodist minister Spirituality has always played a role in my life. I have been following a Buddhist path since 1993 and for the past ten years have been a student of the Diamond Approach with Sandra Maitri in California. This deeper search for meaning has always been a central driver for my paintings.

“Ian Hamlin’s exhibition at the Bealey Gallery is a marvellously seductive experience – a procession of luscious realist art which becomes entirely therapeutic. Hamlin’s paintings are invested with a luminosity and strength; the perfect foil for his impeccable technique.”
Christopher Moore, Arts editor, The Press 2004

This is me and my dog Kuri overlooking Cook Strait…..


if you want to purchase a painting, calendar, lavender or olive oil – just contact me here, it’s easy! cheers:

43 thoughts on “About Ian Hamlin

  1. Kia Ora Ian, whilst teaching in Greymouth I attended an exhibition and purchased one of your early pen and ink paintings “The Redundant (No.3)” Okuru, South Westland. You must have been in your senior years at Greymouth High School. It still holds pride of place in my home and probably kick started my love of art works. Great to see that you are continuing to use your wonderful talents.


  2. Hello Ian. My name is Marie Clemence. I lived at Dobson on the coast in the seventies. I have three paintings from your first exhibition that I would like to give back to you if you will have them. Do you remember “too late the prophet cried” ? I appreciated your light and atmospherics and also the message which is even more relevant now. Would you please e-mail me at – marieclemence@xtra.co.nz. if you are interested. My two sons would not appreciate the paintings and I may not be around for much longer.
    Regards, Marie


  3. Hi Ian, I’m so glad you stopped by my blog. I’ve been admiring your work, it’s so beautiful, and your story is inspirational. You didn’t let the fact that you had no work, to finance further education in art, deflect you from your artistic goals. Well done on following your chosen path and accomplishing so much.


  4. Hello Ian, I just stopped by to say thank you for following my blog and have spent a while browsing and enjoying your paintings. I used to have an art gallery here on my hillside and if I still had it I know I would have loved to see your work gracing the walls! I’m really in tune with your feelings for the land and environment, I shall enjoy following your posts! Best wishes Jane


    1. Thank you Jane, we live on such a wonderous earth and I could also feel the joy in it in your photos and writings too. I’m intrigued to hear about your gallery? Your life on the hillside sounds blissful and I’m looking forward to seeing some more of it too! Cheers Ian


  5. Your painting is exquisite. With that kind of talent and passion who needs art school?!
    Thanks for visiting our blog, and for the ‘like’ on the post about Otago.


    1. Thanks Alison, it was a pleasure, and the photos are amazing too! I have mixed feelings about not going to Art school, but I guess what I’ve learnt in the art school of life, is to paint from the heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for visiting my blog today, and leading me back to your blog – your paintings are fantastic! I’m inspired. Love the way you capture light!


    1. I’m glad you found it too…..and that you like my paintings. I love poetry, it seems to put words around images, images around words, articulation of the creative urge. Your poetry does that. Cheers


  7. Thanks for liking some of my posts @treesshrubs. I really resonate and appreciate your work.Its truly beautiful and reflects (it seems to me) your deep connection with the new zealand landscape.


  8. Good morning Ian …thank you for opening the door to my blog yesterday …I appreciate that and will follow you on your amazing journey too … Your brushwork is beautiful ! …blessings xxx


  9. Thank you so much for liking my post “I’m Not Here” on apurplepatchlife.com. I just looked through some of your paintings and they are stunning. Hope to see you around The Patch again. Peace.


    1. I’m glad you like my paintings. Your post raised some very interesting points. The very, new for me, act of blogging itself is challenging me on so many levels. As an artist – it’s very easy to hide behind your work and let your paintings do the talking. I hid for many years behind a quote from Edward Hopper that went something like this – “If I could say it in words, there’d be no need to paint!” Now I’m thinking a few words can really help the engagement process……


  10. Lovely paintings and yes some of them look like photographs. I was particularly drawn to Houghton bay as the sea took me with its silky hand then deposited me on the shores. Nemesis and friend. Beautiful


    1. Thank you for your beautiful words. You have a very silky way with them!
      Funny thing is the waves very nearly took me onto the beach…
      I was so engrossed in the light and the breaking surf that I suddenly found myself awash up to my knees!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hey Ian – thanks for the “like”s — means a lot from someone with your visual skill and background! I’ve added your gallery to my list for whenever I’m next in Wellington – I’d love to see some of your work up close and three-dimensional. Keep it up — Paul


  12. Thanks Ian for reading a post on the Turtle Rock Farm blog. Amazing…connection with the land…connection through Almaas’ writings…Methodism…Buddhism…beauty… One might think it’s a long way between Oklahoma and New Zealand, but it’s not.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Ian- Thank you for following my photography blog, Jane’s Lens. I hope you are inspired. Beautiful work! Some people say some of my images look like paintings, your paintings look like photographs.

    Liked by 1 person

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