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Watercolours . . . Waikaia artist Crosbie Grieve works on a new landscape painting inspired by the view from his home

Waikaia artist Crosbie Grieve takes an artistic approach to life after 33 years of watercolour painting.

“I look at life through the eyes of a brush,” Grieve said.

He also had experience in oil and acrylics but preferred the challenge of watercolours, he said.

“In most other mediums you can .. paint over your mistakes.

“You can mess up a watercolour very easily.”

In contrast to oil and acrylic, watercolour had to be painted light to dark, with white colour coming not from a tube but from unpainted paper.

This limited spontaneity.

“You have to plan it but I am a detail person.”

He left school at the age of 15 because he found it boring but soon found work in advertising agency in Invercargill.

Graphic design work honed his artistic skills.

“We had to hand-paint text.

“We had to retouch pictures by hand.

“In those days all advertising started off with a pencil sketch.”

Art was sidelined until 1997, when he picked up a brush as an outlet during a stressful time at work.

“My stress levels were out the door.

“I did it to keep my sanity.”

His graphic design experience still came in useful in the artistic process.

“I do thumbnail sketches first to focus the mind on composition.”

He was a member of Watercolour New Zealand and sold paintings at its annual exhibitions in Wellington.

Riversdale Arts also counted him among its members.

Although he specialised in watercolours he appreciated art of all kinds.

“It’s wonderful to see people taking part in art.”

His main subject was landscapes.

“We’re right by the head of the Waikaia Valley.

“It’s a beautiful place to live.”

Leaving the house was not necessary owing to the views from his sunroom.

However, he was planning to branch out by working in nature and had already bought a special easel for the job.

“I am looking forward to painting outside this summer.”