Mandurah artists undertake New Zealand trip for creative inspiration

Colourful trip: Mandurah Plein Air Artists in Wanaka, New Zealand, in their most-recent creative excursion. Photo: Supplied.
Colourful trip: Mandurah Plein Air Artists in Wanaka, New Zealand, in their most-recent creative excursion. Photo: Supplied.

Seven members of the Mandurah Plein Air Artists have recently returned from a two-week painting trip to Wanaka, New Zealand. 

While there, Aiveen O’Donovan, Carol Hazel, Barb Thoms, Lynn Kennedy, Deanne Milburn, Corrine Rapley and Fran Bannister painted with the plein air painters from the Wanaka Art Society, who shared some of their favourite painting locations. 

In addition, the group was welcomed at the picturesque Rippon Vineyard and Winery, overlooking new spring vines, Lake Wanaka and the snow- capped mountains of the Southern Alps.

These trips offer an immersive experience, where the focus every day is to paint the landscape as it appears at that moment. 

There is no photographic reference or studio work, and each painting is done on location with the artists exposed to whatever elements nature provides.

Springtime in Wanaka presented everything from glorious sunny days right through to bitterly cold wind and fresh dustings of snow on the mountains. 

The group often travel in search of different landscapes, architecture and culture.

Prior to the recent New Zealand trip, previous locations have included Tourette’s-sur-Loup (France 2011 and 2012), Barcelona (Spain 2011) and Uzes (France 2016). 

Closer to home, they have also held painting retreats in Dwellingup. 

Two of the founding members, Aiveen O’Donovan and Barb Thoms, have been on many of these painting trips and enjoy capturing the spirit and essence of different landscapes and subjects.

“En plein air” is a French expression meaning “in the open air” and this style of painting was made famous in the mid-to-late nineteenth century by impressionist painters like Monet, Cezanne, Van Gogh and others of that era. 

The Mandurah Plein Air Artists painting group was established in 2011 and is very active within the local art community. 

The artists paint somewhere different each Tuesday morning and each week’s location is posted on the group’s Facebook Page. 

They welcome guests to join in and have a go. All mediums are used, from traditional oil paints to fabric collage and everything in between. 

More information is available at: www.mandurahpleinair.com