Picture Gallery 1980s
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The Wellington Coastline, towards Pukeroa Bay, circa 1986 acrylic on canvas
Private Collection
'Rangitoto Mural' Matiatia Landing, Waiheke Island, 1984 acrylic on canvas
Private Collection
Browns Island, from the S.S. Toroa, circa 1986
acrylic on canvas
Private Collection
Thompson's Art through the '80s
With retirement in the late '70s, watercolour was now replaced by the acrylic medium using a similar technique on unprimed and stretched linen canvas. The early '80s saw the most abstract stage of his artistic development. The ‘Horizon’ series and the ‘Earth and Sky’ being the most abstract of all. For a short period he worked with collage emphasising horizontal shapes. The early and mid '80s saw a return to formal subject matter, as in the ‘Costal Images’ with its landscape subject and hard edge shapes. Elements of the visible world were used such as tidal estuaries, hills, clouds and sky under changing conditions of light and atmosphere. He also incorporated the patterns made by water mudflats and coastlines. These were hugely successful and there were three sellout exhibitions 1983, 1994 and 1986. In 1989 Nelson died suddenly while working towards another exhibition. This was to combine the ‘Coastal Images’ hard-edged technique, with the ‘fluid’ techniques of the ‘Flowerhead’ series. His last unfinished work was to be a view of Murawai heads with large flowerheads in the foreground combining both techniques.