Portrait of Douglas MacDiarmid c1988 by Piera McArthur, acrylic. Collection: Piera McArthur, Wellington. www.douglasmacdiarmid.com

Portrait of Douglas MacDiarmid (1988) by Piera McArthur


Douglas MacDiarmid – as seen by a kindred spirit A visual treat from acclaimed New Zealand painter Piera McArthur’s distinctive brush, showing her friend Douglas MacDiarmid in a completely new light. MacDiarmid largely avoided the company of other artists, but he and Piera are creative soulmates. New Zealand artist Piera McArthur with her portrait of Douglas MacDiarmid
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Chinese Girl 1949 Wellington by Douglas MacDiarmid, watercolour 23x30cm. Private collection, Auckland

Chinese girl 1949 Wellington – a portrait of innocence


During his ‘gap year’ back in New Zealand in 1949-50, Douglas MacDiarmid worked in the centre of Wellington, and lived up the hill at Wadestown. On the way home to his flat, he regularly called into a Chinese greengrocery to stock up on fresh supplies, and was fascinated by the little girl he observed “always
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Untitled Douglas MacDiarmid landscape watercolour circa late 1940s

Parc Montsouris, Paris 1948 – no longer somewhere, anywhere


A surprise find from abroad – we had no idea where this lovely early Douglas MacDiarmid landscape watercolour was painted when a Scottish collector sent a photo in the hopes of having it identified. That distinctive high-roofed structure was the best clue, and the style, mood and colours suggested it dated from the late 1940s
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Portraiture – an essential part of Douglas MacDiarmid’s paintbox


Douglas MacDiarmid has always painted portraits. Apart from commissions they are mainly of his friends and companions. In fact, he learned portraiture by painting folk he was fond of. He usually approached this work very slowly, as much taken by what a head reveals as by the effort to suggest all that remains hidden. A lot
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Douglas MacDiarmid 1950, pastel by John Drawbridge. Private collection, Wellington. www.douglasmacdiarmid.com

Portrait of Douglas MacDiarmid (1950) by John Drawbridge


New Zealand painter Douglas MacDiarmid has spent comparatively little time in the company of other artists, mostly preferring to let their work do the talking rather than engage in relationships and creative alliances. There were exceptions of course and the late, multi-talented John Drawbridge was one of them, in their early days in Wellington. This was
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Life and Times of Douglas MacDiarmid biography
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