What do cliffs and paddle steamers of the Murray, boats and wharves of Port Adelaide, and wheat fields of Yorke Peninsula have in common? Well besides their inherent beauty, they are all fascinating locations painted by German artist Peter Wallfried.
Peter, who has lived in Australia since 1955, creates sophisticated maritime artwork that is reflective of both his talent and passion for water. His landscape paintings are diverse, tied together with the common element of water as it reflects magnificently off boats, splashes against jetties, or stagnantly surrounds buildings and docks.
The colossal tree painted in A Very Big Puddle is twice as nice, seeing how it’s vividly reflected in the glassy sheen of water below. The trees stretch their trunks and leaves toward the heavens, but they appear to spread even more robustly over the still water.
The most breathtaking visual in this painting is the contrast between the shadows cast by the thick canopy of trees in the middle of the composition and the sunlight streaming through widely spaced branches toward the outer edges of the painting.
I also love the simplicity found in Rocky Outcrop Near Nildottie. It’s the Neapolitan ice cream of terrain, offering three assorted, but equally pleasing, landscapes.
A rocky hillside on the left offers the perfect vantage point to watch for approaching steamers, but makes the second boat appear microscopic by comparison. A wide body of slow-moving water breaks up the dusty brown backdrop as it twists behind prairielands dotted with trees.
Equal parts of each terrain create a balanced composition, and the minimalism of this wide open space is tranquil and refreshing. Quite literally from this viewpoint way up high, it’s a breath of fresh air!
Last but not least, there’s something about Rowboat—Heading Out that is wonderfully carefree and inspiring. Here, the contrast is not about color, but instead, line.
The sailboats’ masts stand at attention, dark against an early morning sky, while a few splashes of color—the saturated orange of a rooftop and bright blues and reds of the floating boats—create a beautiful, straight route for the eye to follow, between a sparse forest of masts and the water itself.
Small waves and ripples turn each reflection into an out-of-control squiggle, reminding me of what it looks like to test out a pen on a piece of paper. The lone rower is most at fault, his oarstrokes rippling every larger as they move outward, taking us directly to the edge of the composition, and back again.
More maritime paintings are showcased on Peter’s website, many of which have become my favorites. Head over today, and don’t miss this opportunity to check out the rest of his fantastic artwork.
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