Barbara Von Seida – Landscapes: Colour & Emotions

This month the feature artist at the Art Matakana Gallery, is well known and multi-award winning Coromandel artist, Barbara von Seida, who will exhibit her emotive acrylic landscape paintings from 2-24 February.

Barbara moved to New Zealand in 1990, settling on the picturesque Wyuna Peninsula where she established the Kowhai Watercolour Studio, now considered the oldest private gallery on the Coromandel Peninsula open to the public.

She is fascinated with the soft, rolling landforms, the rich, dark vegetation and the constant sound of the sea. Her latest works express a time in winter when turbulent weather systems caused flooding and roads on the Coromandel Peninsula became impassable. Dark, ominous, dramatic clouds became a daily feature. Barbara’s response was an attempt to combine the atmospheric conditions and geological forces of  New Zealand’s countryside.

Barbara commented “When having a close look at the works of serious artists, it becomes obvious that their work is a reflection of what they had experienced in life, what moved their inner parts and what they saw happening around them.” She sees herself no different from them.

Besides florals, still life and occasional portrait, landscapes have become her favourite subject, painted with a deeper narrative below the surface. The resulting multi-layered images are therefore not what she has observed, they are her response to what she has observed. It is not her intention to describe a particular place in detail, but rather to express essential moods and emotions.

Compiling this series of paintings has been very intense, as Barbara is her own toughest critic when finding the right colour combinations and their tonal values to express the emotion she wishes to convey. The process takes many weeks of constant layering and adjustment and even then, it may not achieve the outcome she had hoped for. In that context, she likes the abbreviated quote of Picasso “I do not create an image, I find it!”

As this exhibition will be her first “solo” north of metropolitan Auckland Barbara is very excited!

At the opening of her last solo, art critic, Terry McNamara, said of her work: “This is a rich, almost overwhelming exhibition of completely convincing paintings. The colour here is magnificent in its drama and the coherence of each work. I admire the technique that produces the flatness of the water and the ruggedness of the hills. What you are seeing is the work of a very, very accomplished painter.”

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