Former South Island Artist BRUCE ALEXANDER HUTCHINSON, now living in Papamoa Beach, Tauranga, has been drawing and painting since childhood, inspired by the varied and dramatic landforms, colour and light of New Zealand and its rural heritage. He paints mainly in acrylic and pen-and-watercolour in a romantic realism style, and his original work and reproductions hang privately throughout NZ and overseas. He has illustrated six books on rural and historic themes.
Born in Paeroa Bruce moved to Hawera at age 10, was top art student at High School for two years, then studied and worked in illustration and design in Wellington for two years before turning to newspaper journalism. He has also lived in Blenheim, Mount Maunganui, Christchurch and Phnom Penh (Cambodia) with his wife, Dorothy, alternating between journalism and art to earn a living and use his creative gifts as a lifestyle, traveling widely in NZ and South-East Asia. He has been influenced by the dramatic style and ethos of colonial artist Petrus van der Velden and Canterbury landscape painters such as Austen Deans, who challenged him to get into the mountains to paint “plein air”.
As a full-time itinerant Artist with the business name “Country Heritage Art Service”, he specialised in private commissions of mainly rural subjects: homesteads in garden settings, farm buildings and scenes and landscapes from Otago to North Auckland. He has been guest artist at several country exhibitions and held numerous exhibitions and demonstrations in rural centres and at events such as A&P Shows, and in Christchurch’s Arts Centre, and had outlets in tourist hotels in Twizel and Omarama.
His work has proven popular with country folk and clients who prefer art of a realistic nature that captures the character and essence of their familiar places, winning “best local artist” and “people’s choice” awards at several exhibitions in both the North and South Islands. He has also conducted a number of acrylic and pen-and-wash workshops for art groups, as well as writing and journalism courses and trumpet tutorials.
Now semi-retired, he has joined the Tauranga Society of Arts and has exhibited at local exhibitions, the Cargo Shed and Creating Waves Gallery in Mount Maunganui, and Creative BOP’s Willow Street gallery in October 2016, since moving from his Christchurch base to the district late in 2014 to be closer to his extended family.