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Auckland based artist Gretchen Albrecht completed a number of plein air watercolour studies of her garden in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As Albrecht commented, this series saw her‘consciously working towards a looser, fresher on-the-spot method’. Tree in the Garden at Wynyard Road highlights the sense of freedom and spontaneity found in her work at this time. The work has been painted with almost calligraphic brushmarks. Unlike many watercolourists who lay down washes of colour, Albrecht has used the white of the paper to great effect,creating a striking contrast between brushmarks and background.
During the late 1960s and early 1970s Gretchen Albrecht produced a series of watercolours based on the garden. She saw it as a good subject on which to try a looser method of painting than she had used previously.
The fluidity of the watercolour medium was ideal and in this work its immediacy and transparency create a vibrant, highly energized composition. Albrecht is a significant contemporary New Zealand artist who has worked in an abstract style for much of her career.
Albrecht was born in Auckland. She studied at the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland. In 1981 she was awarded the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship at the University of Otago, Dunedin. Albrecht has exhibited regularly, both nationally and internationally since 1964. A major survey of her paintings and drawings toured New Zealand in 1986. She has travelled widely and regularly spends periods abroad working. As well as painting, printmaking is a major component of Albrecht’s work.