Margaret Stoddart

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1865, d.1934

Bush Fire, Paraparaumu

About the artist

Stoddart, Margaret Olrog (Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1865, d.1934)

Margaret Stoddart, from The Weekly Press 9 June 1909

It is thought this nuggetty watercolour painting was completed shortly after Margaret Stoddart’s return to New Zealand from an extended period studying and painting in Europe. Acrid smoke billows upwards as the dense native bush, presumably being cleared for agricultural purposes, is consumed by fire. This is a tough, poignant and unusual subject for Stoddart – far removed from the rather more subdued still-life subjects for which she became so highly regarded. Stoddart’s complete mastery with watercolour is seen in her beautiful handling and contrasting of washes of colour, from the dense darks of the bush to the white smoke. (March 2018)