Ten Years in Wellington

by Michael McCormack

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book was published in 2011, but Irish born McCormack is still around and still working from a studio in the beautiful Island Bay. You can click here if you want to see more recent examples of his work, but I don’t think McCormack’s style has changed much over the last decade – in Wellington he has found a very beautiful subject that he loves and there is a market for the work.

McCormack touches on the difficulty of painting outdoors in a city where the weather is both unpredictable and violent, but on a bright, sunny day there is no place to touch Wellington. If it wasn’t for the trifling matter of earthquakes and really extreme winds, I would love to live there!

Saying McCormack’s style hasn’t evolved much isn’t meant as a put down – he is very talented.

Really great and showing the movement of sea water and creating attractive seascapes.

Boat Shed at Lowry Bay (2008)

(I will apologise – because I have scanned the images from my own copy of this book, they are a little blurry to the left!)

He also captures how ingenious Wellingtonians have been, building up into the hills.

Corner on to Aro Street (2004)

And gives a lovely mystery to both wet weather and night time scenes.

Late Evening on Cuba Mall (2006)

Cuba Mall is still a hub for great cafes and quirky shops!

McCormack is fascinated by New Zealand Dairies.

Hall Street Dairy (2006)

I’m cheating a little and using the cover – but there there are several other examples in this book of NZ’s iconic equivalent to the corner store. McCormack mentions that shortly after he painted this one it was turned back into a villa home.

“Every country must have it’s version of the dairy, where kids go to spend their pocket money. The New Zealand dairy is unique however as the clever sods at Tip Top have managed to brand each one in a way that no one seems to mind.”

Not only don’t I mind – it is so much part of city/ small town landscapes that I don’t even notice!

McCormack writes well about his past in art school in Ireland and as a travelling art and sensibly keeps it brief. His descriptions of his art work mostly feel unforced – not like someone trying to thing of something different to say!

This book proves that self published doesn’t have to be slipshod and full of typos! It is now hard to find a copy. But (for kiwis) I do have a copy listed on TradeMe. Check it out!

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