A retrospective exhibition spanning 50 years' work by Okato artist Alby Carter is showing at the Percy Thomson Gallery.
Alby was born in Wellington in 1949 and moved to Taranaki in 1982.
He made his home in Okato in 2000 and works from a converted garage that is now his studio and workshop.
This exhibition paints its own vivid picture of Alby's extensive and fascinating life in art.
Alby is prolific with a disciplined routine that puts him at his easel beside his large studio window every day. His work is bold, strong and maintains a sense that he is in control. He has a loose free-flowing style that commands the viewer to examine his work.
His landscapes vibrate with energy. Up close you see the strokes from a distance you see the indisputable form, colour, texture and movement of the landscape he loves. His art work enables the viewer to "feel" the wind in his coastal trees, and the icy cold water in the Stony River. The viewer can walk into the rolling landscapes with dome-shaped hills and rickety fence-lines and take in the views.
Alby works in an expressionist style these days with open composition, with emphasis on the light in its changing qualities, ordinary subject matter, where the inclusion of movement is vital.
Inspired by his surroundings of mountain, sea, farm and forest, Alby captures the mood of his environment in his fast-brushed style.
Reality is merely his starting point. Alby likes to convey his emotions in his artwork and his viewers to connect with that.
"I don't want to paint something that looks 'real' I want to paint what I feel."
When he was younger he would take his gear out on location. Now he takes photos and paints from them in his studio.
"I've developed a way to make it look different to a photo, otherwise you may as well take a photo the thing has to go through the artist."
Apart from the occasional odd jobs, Alby has been a professional artist for 50 years.