Brenda Liddiard

Artist Statement


My painting journey began in 2003, when I suddenly developed a fascination with the colours and forms in the New Zealand landscape, and how the constantly changing light affected sea and sky.

I began with watercolour, as my late brother Chris, who was a professional artist in the UK, worked with watercolour all his life, and it seemed like the natural place for me to begin.  I loved the excitement and unpredictability of working wet-in-wet, especially painting skies and water.  I knew nothing, but I soon learned a lot - from books, studying paintings in galleries, working with other artists and getting occasional lessons along the way.

In early 2007, I attended a Jane Zusters 8-day workshop at The Quarry in Whangarei, which marked a major turning point for me, discovering the joys and challenges of working with acrylics, building multiple layers to develop depth and mystery.

"What it seems we must learn is to leave experience behind and retain the freshness of instinct"

                                           Henri Matisse

One of the Lucky Ones: Sicily

Acrylic & Ink on Board

I gradually began to let go of the tight reins of control that had been holding me back, and realised that my imagination and spirit could offer much more than I had thought possible.

I discovered that it was okay to make mistakes, in fact, it was a necessary learning tool.  Now, I try to allow my musician’s improvisational instincts to take over once I start painting, aiming for, in Max Gimblett’s words, “All mind, no mind”.

I now also often work in oils, focusing mostly on portraits.