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The dramatic Manukau Harbour of Grant’s hometown was a strong influence

on the boy’s love of the natural world, a love he expressed through art while

in school in Auckland. Holidays at the beaches around Auckland including

Waiheke Island as well as the Coromandel made Grant aware of the qualities

displayed by nature and how they speak to the heart. “Awesome beauty,

wisdom, and power can be seen in the natural environment, and even love

can be seen, in that we ourselves have been have been given the ability to

appreciate and enjoy these things.”

Until 1998, Grant concentrated on his business career, but his move to the

Coromandel rekindled his desire to paint, and to make this fulfilling activity his

livelihood as well. From 2003, he didn’t look back, and this self trained artist

‘went pro’. His first exhibition exhibition in Harrison’s at Whangamata in 2005

was a great success with almost all works on display selling on opening night.

Living in the Opoutere area, Grant works out of his home which is surrounded

by orchards and farmland. (Look for the gallery sign just south of Opoutere

Orchard on SH25). Grant is quick to credit the rich Coromandel art scene, as a

key to his sucess here: “the many artists working away in their home studios,

the art walks in Coromandel and Mercury Bay, and especially the galleries

headed by such knowledgeable people.”

Christine Rabarts, owner of Whitianga’s Bread & Butter Gallery, has carried

Grant’s work at her gallery for years. “Grant uses a variety of skills with his

brushwork, capturing the energy and movement of a windy day or the roundness

and gnarliness of the pohutukawa or the warmth of a summer’s day under a

tree’s shade. His consistent abiity to capture colours, such as the turquoise of

the sea, the depths of blues in the sky – and at times the softness of the

setting sun or an early evening’s gentleness – brings alive a special quality of

beauty, a beauty that the Coromandel Peninsula is known for.”

See a large selection of both originals and prints at the Bread & Butter Gallery, including the

original of the cover art “Summer Feeling, Simpsons Beach”, just completed for this issue. It

will be available soon in limited edition prints. His work can also be seen at The Little Gallery

of Fine Arts in Tairua, Heritage Gallery in Cambridge and Art Of This World in Devonport.

View Grant’s website:

Or contact him on 07 865 6113, E:

Milly’s on Main


236 Main Road in Tairua



522 Pollen Street in Thames

Summer Feeling,

Simpsons Beach

by Grant Simpson

believes new energy is found and ideas are expressed in individual and

challenging ways. Her beliefs fit well with the Art Escape Trust mission to

promote and develop the growth of the visual arts in Mercury Bay.

About the Mercury Bay Art Escape Open Studio Tour

Over 50 established and emerging artists in the Eastern Coromandel open

their studios the first two weekends of

March, 7-8 and 14-15

. It is a fabulous

opportunity for residents and visitors to interact with the artists and purchase

artwork direct.

The new edition of ‘The Guide’ is an expanded 156-page full-colour reference

manual including bios of all 52 artists, including 12 new ones. This guide is a

must whether you are attending or not – it offers maps, artists’ profiles, galleries,

cafés, B&B’s and tours. Can’t come this year? Contact artists for visits at other

times. Following the Opening Night Party at Hot Waves, all

artists will have a piece of work on display and for sale at the



through Easter Monday.

Purchase Guide and tickets to opening night (always a sell

out!) at the MBAE website (or find local locations selling it).


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