Paul Sampson
Paul Sampson’s Yellow Pot with Grapes and Oranges, oil on canvas. Photo Supplied

Paul Sampson is dedicated to painting still life – and, perhaps with the influence of returning to New Zealand and Central Otago – grapes seem to have crept in as a consistent element in his paintings.

Paul’s current exhibition in Eade Gallery, Clyde, is entitled Still life with grapes – A homage to the masters and is selling well.

Paul developed his art in his early 40s while living in England, and is attracted to the work of the Masters such as Picasso, Cezanne and Vermeer.

“This influence comes through in my style and subject matter,” he says, “particularly as I explore themes of the relationship between my past, spirit and matter.”

Inspired by Cezanne, Paul started painting watercolour, before enrolling at Heatherley School of Fine Art in Chelsea.

Frustrated by his inability to produce the power and depth of colour resonance he required in this medium, Paul changed to oils, under the guidance of contemporary artist Israel Zohar, and this led to his accepting portrait commissions and selling still life works from his London home.

Returning to New Zealand in 2003, he taught art and sold paintings from his garden studio in Kerikeri, before moving to Cromwell in 2013.

Paul says, “My current direction is one of diversity – a challenge that is essential for the enjoyment of painting for me. While I continue to explore complex compositions in some paintings, I am also experimenting with greater simplicity in others.”

The exhibition shows at Eade Gallery until 3 March: www.eadegallery.co.nz