Ratene Hihitawa $6,900 framed Status: Sold
Russell John Winterburn is a self-taught artist specializing in realism. When he left the air force in 1968, he worked as a TV technician where an associate intrigued him with his oil paintings of English coastal scenes. Impressed by the fact that this man was self taught, Russell was inspired to paint dramatic Wellington coastal scenes on stretched canvases. From an early age Russell was sketching accurate portraits, and was fascinated by painted scenes of Scotland and New Zealand by his Great grandfather Alexander Forbes of Aberdeen. A breakthrough for Russell was to understand the glazing techniques of the ‘old masters’ and apply it to his portraits. They achieved a glow, which transcended his new work into another dimension. Russell proceeded to become renown for his commissioned portraits of the late Maori queen, Dame Te Atairangikaahu and Dame Whina Cooper, along with many other well-known Maori and European icons. Being part maori helps Russell to capture the ‘wairua’ (spirit) of his subjects. He is diversified and able to work with the varied themes requested of him by commission. Equine art is another field in which he excels and his fine paintings of the famous Sir Tristam, Zabeel, Phar Lap, and Sunline have been sold to prominent racehorse owners and private collectors. Russell has successfully exhibited in the past but prefers to paint commissions and take part in group exhibitions. Art collectors seek his exclusive portraits and recently his paintings (portraits and landscapes) have fetched top prices at the Art for Heart Foundation Auctions. A painting of a young Sir Edmund Hillary, endorsed and signed by Sir Edmund Hillary, and a more recent portrait or our great icon have been sold. Russell has completed a commissioned portrait of Sir John Graham, which has resulted in further commissions of NZ icons such as Sir Colin Meads. Russell was a featured exhibitor in the inaugural Los Angeles New Zealand Art Exhibition as part of an international Art Expo. Portraits of Sir William Gallagher and Sir Dryden Spring have recently been completed and a book of his maori portraits is soon to be published.