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Welcome to the website of Norman Sinclair, a high country artist whose vivid water colour paintings capture a moment in time on the southern high country stations of New Zealand.

 

 horse and dogs

  Mt Arrowsmith - South Ashburton River 

A musterer and Team riding into Mt ArrowSmith. Autumn Muster.

 

Reminiscent of the great American artist Charles Marion Russell, famous for his paintings of the "Wild West", Sinclair's evocative representations of our own iconic high country are his signature works.

Like Russell, Sinclair captures life with a capital "L" in his paintings: the life of the musterers, horses, cattle, sheep and dogs on whom the high country way of life depends. Sinclair has the added advantage (unavailable to Russell) of the spectacular geography of our high country to serve as a backdrop for his works.

Sinclair's best works are the ones that capture the whiskers of movement in the dogs' attention to their masters and their charges, the roll of horses' behinds as they purposefully carry the men and women driving their stock, and the clamour of large herds and flocks as they move from one grazing ground to another. Not for nothing are these unusual scenes.

Few New Zealand artists are as brave as Sinclair in finding his way to these sights so he can capture them. He has hung out of helicopters, waded across icy rivers, and run to and fro around moving herds to observe up close just how they move. To us viewing these pages from the comfort of a Dunedin art gallery, Sinclair seems to have captured more than the movement - the smell is almost there also, of the animals, the dust, and the sweat.

Watercolour and egg tempera are the main media used in these works but Sinclair also presents large acrylic and water-based oil paintings on canvas of our impressive southern mountainscapes.