Continuing our journey, following Charles Blomfield in his ventures and artistic endeavors, we now get to the part of the story where perhaps he is most famous for. The Pink and White terraces were arguably one of the worlds most beautiful sights. However, due to the volcanic eruption of Mt Tarawera in 1886, there are only historical records and Paintings that depict their true beauty. I believe Blomfield’s description of the Terraces leaves little to the imagination and accurately portrays what affect they had on the viewer.
Extract from Muriel Williams book: ‘ We made for the Pink Terraces first. The colour is the chief attraction. With the morning sun shining brightly on it, it is almost white, but when the sun gets round and you get more shadow, the lovely salmon colour is very marked, varied with grey and white. The overhanging lips of the basins are exceedingly beautiful and graceful..’
After completing a series of paintings of the terraces in 1896, Charles held an exhibition for the paintings to which the Herald reported on (exert from Muriel William’s book): ‘ Mr Charles Blomfield, the well-known painter of the New Zealand scenery, has just completed a fine series of oil paintings of the Pink and White Terraces, Rotomahana, and of the most picturesque views in their neighborhood. Mr Blomfield spent three weeks on each of the Terraces, and painted directly from nature, with the result that he has produced perhaps the most faithful representations of this locality…’ Exactly 18 months after his completion of the oil paintings, Mt Tarawera erupted, completely destroying the natural land formations and killing the local tribes.
‘ …[Mr Blomfield] was skilled in all branches of landscape painting, but in painting of the Terraces, he was unique.’
As a descendant of Charles, I believe it is in my blood to continue this artistic legacy. For myself, oil paintings and hyper realism was never a draw. I have always loved cartooning and making people laugh. My great Uncle and Great Grandfather were also Cartoonists and both were published in their respective regional newspapers. Its such an honor to say that I also am a published cartoonist in the Times and I am able to keep the Blomfield legacy of Artists going.
Next time: I will touch on my Great Grandfather and Great Uncle Blomfield… continuing the story of how Art inspired me through my lineage.