Nos­tal­gia in oils

New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide News - Words: Den­nis Brown

Hav­ing built model cars and avidly fol­lowed mo­tor rac­ing, Den­nis Brown be­gan to paint in oils in the early 1960s and fi­nally com­bined those pas­sions in the 1990s to cre­ate Stu­dio 31, paint­ing rac­ing cars and pro­duc­ing prints fea­tur­ing New Zealand driv­ers and cars, not only on street cir­cuits and race­ways here, but also in over­seas events from Le Mans to Monaco to Barcelona.

He found driv­ers, man­agers, and their wives very gen­er­ous with their time and sig­na­tures on rel­e­vant prints. Many helped with in­for­ma­tion and pho­to­graphs to add to his re­search for au­then­tic scenes and de­scrip­tive sheets to go with lim­ited-edi­tion prints.

His paint­ings first ap­peared in New Zealand Clas­sic Car in De­cem­ber 1996, fol­lowed by reg­u­lar do­na­tions of prints to the mag­a­zine as prizes for read­ers, and his orig­i­nals and prints dec­o­rate dens, garages, and mu­seum walls in many coun­tries around the world.

Now, hav­ing re­tired from ac­tive at­ten­dance at mo­tor rac­ing venues and paint­ing com­mis­sions, he is ex­hibit­ing in a one-man show for the month of March at the Methven Her­itage Cen­tre, an ex­hibit en­thu­si­asts may wish to visit when go­ing to or from Rua­puna and Ti­maru to at­tend races. A di­ver­sion through the scenic Rakaia Gorge or from the main high­way could be well worth your while.

Orig­i­nal paint­ings, some of which have never been ex­hib­ited pub­licly be­fore, in­clude the two shown here as well as land­scapes, seascapes, and sub­ject paint­ings.

Fer­rari at Colle­sano: Phil Hill roars through the vil­lage streets dur­ing this colour­ful and chal­leng­ing event

Four Targa Flo­rio Fer­raris (one in Swedish colours) com­pete in the Si­cil­ian Targa Flo­rio

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