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Nigel Wilson sees no conflict between his passion for painting and his need to make a living from it, saying that in the end, he is always painting for himself.

Wilson and his wife, Janice, moved to Clyde just over a year ago, having previously lived on a rural property in Alexandra for 22 years.

A light-filled studio and gallery at the rear of the Clyde property is also filled with paintings, both finished and works in progress, showing a range of styles and techniques and canvases painted in both oil and acrylics.

Born in Wellington, Wilson earned a fine arts diploma from Ilam, University of Canterbury, before going on to teacher’s college.

He taught art at Cargill High School for seven years until 1997 and has been a fulltime artist for the past 25 years.

Wilson is also one of eight members of Indigo Artists –  an informal group that organised and mounted exhibitions of their work.

He enjoyed being part of the group because of the friendships with other artists, in what was often a very solitary career.

Wilson described himself as a expressionist painter, except for portraiture when he had a more impressionist style.

“I’ve never wanted to paint a landscape in a photographic way,” he said.

“The energy you sense in a painting, that expressive quality, is what I’m trying to achieve in all my work.”

Variations on a theme . . . Artist Nigel Wilson likes to experiment with different influences, themes and techniques, with a recent change being working with a palette knife for several series.

When you earned your living from your art, you had to be aware of what would or would not sell, Wilson said, but he viewed everything he painted as informing his knowledge and skills.

“I don’t find it a conflict because I put my hand to quite a few ways of going about painting and I’m quite adaptable to doing something that I haven’t done before.

“If I experiment, I assimilate that experimentation into my work.”

The best thing that could happen is that you painted something you wanted to paint and it was also popular, he said.

He expected he would eventually consolidate everything he learned into a “very evolved style”.

“Artists are, or should be, always developing and evolving.”