Art Capener 

Visual Arts


Art Capener 

  • Mixed Media
  • Oils
  • Painting
  • Visual Arts

I undertook a short amount of formal art training at UK Liverpool Art College way back in the early 60’s but didn’t really like it, so took the long road of being self-taught. Being taught how to do something is OK but the excitement of discovering it for yourself is much better, I feel. Quite often, new techniques are discovered by what I call ‘happy accidents’: when you’re almost giving up and you try again and again. Suddenly, you find yourself standing back and saying, “Wow, did I do that?”

I have no idea what drove my interest in art. I do a lot of genealogy research and have gone back over 1500 years, but never found an ancestral artist. Having said that, I’m sure many of them would have drawn or painted at some point.

I get all the inspiration I need from nature, not just the scenery, but the vast array of colours. It’s also very therapeutic as we all know; colour can lift your spirits or have an opposite effect, adding beauty or drama to a picture.

I admire the work of many artists such as Jonathan White, Tim Wilson and the works of 18th century Russian artists such as Ivan Aivazovsky. My main artistic ambition is to be able to continue painting and to keep learning. Even at 73 years of age you’ve only just begun when it comes to painting. In five years time I look forward to still painting what I love to paint, and as for the paintings, I hope they are hanging in peoples’ homes and that they are enjoying them.

One achievement I am quite proud of was establishing my own gallery in Queen Street, Auckland in 1999 and still having it open for business in 2012. Not only selling work by myself but also many other New Zealand artists, such as Ivan Clarke, Johnathan White, Keith Snow, Paul Deacon… too many to mention all the names. My wife Cheryl ran the gallery on a day to day basis and we were open 6 days a week. Without her support it would not have happened.

Personal obstacles slowed me up a little over the past year or two: surgeries and radiation treatment for cancer. Although I was not painting as much during that time, the painting that I did was good for the soul and the body. I also have macular degeneration and failing eyesight so the landscapes may become a little more abstract, something new to learn.

I am a member of the Tauranga Society of Artists and there are many other artists to share experiences with and to learn from. I can also pass on techniques to others.

My favourite brush is my ‘Badger Blender’. I really look after it, and why not? It cost a couple of hundred dollars just for one when I bought it. I’m glad to say it paid for itself, immediately enabling me to achieve the effects that I wanted in my work. Apart from that one, I like all brushes. They all contribute to my work one way or another.

My preferred subject are landscapes, however I am developing a strong interest in seascapes and more about the sea than what’s afloat on it.

I choose oils every time, though occasionally I under-paint using acrylics. I have tried watercolours but found them too unforgiving. I use Maimeri Italian-made oils as well as Windsor and Newton, Le Franc, and DAS brushes (mainly synthetics). My current project is a very large seascape. It’s still a work in progress. The next move will be to give the albatross a face and beak.

I always work top to bottom and build up layer upon layer to achieve the effect I need. Whilst painting I generally listen to classical music and I try to match the music with the scene, so dramatic land or seascape requires dramatic music.

Outside of painting I spend time with family, gardening and recently photography.

I have sold many works over the years and apart from in NZ, my work can be found in Australia, USA, UK, France, Italy, Germany, China and the Middle East, in corporate and private collections. At present after a couple of years of dealing with health issues there are no galleries holding my work. There were some that closed down also in Tauranga, Queenstown and Hamilton. I am at present seeking representation.

My tips are: never give up on your artworks and know when to finish. Lots of artists have that problem. Remember that less is more. Leave a little for the viewer to put in with the mind’s eye.

Phone: 075745909
Email address:

Interested in

  • Commissions
  • Seeking venues