Palmer toured the North Island extensively including a whitewater rafting adventure and a stay at the glamorous Chateau Tongariro before creating his 2017 series in Auckland.
“I am traditionally an abstract painter. It’s my passion and comes naturally to me. About mid-way through my career as a professional artist, I began to experiment and hone my skills with realism. Since the inception of the First Class Club, I wanted to present not only my contemporary painting skills but also authentic imagery of the people, places, and experiences from my travel destination into the international series paintings. For this reason, these pieces on wood combine the use of mixed media like acrylic and graphite with embellished collage photography.
Prior to departing for New Zealand, I took a hard look at my prior international series. I am immensely proud of them, but, my critique was that they contained a little too much inserted photo-realism. I wasn’t giving my art enthusiasts enough of the modern use of color, confident brushstrokes, and contemporary flair that has bolstered my career.
With Auckland 2017, look closely. Yes, the pieces present authentic experiences from Hobbiton, rafting, the Maori culture, and New Zealand’s shockingly beautiful natural wonders, but, more than ever before with an international series, they feature abstract infusion to complement the realism. I’m particularly pleased that I made this alteration with this international series because of the physical beauty of New Zealand. One cannot capture its exquisiteness in photographs or even realistic paintings. For me, New Zealand is actually best expressed through the color, form, and movement coming born out of my visceral emotions.”
John Ross Palmer