One year in Paris, turned into six, building exhibition experience and teaching English before Waters returned to New Zealand. It wasn’t long however, before the ‘itch needed a scratch’ and he was off again, this time to Switzerland for a year. After painting there and working part-time in the restaurant trade, he returned to New Zealand, this time to be restaurateur, chef and owner of a boutique bistro, The Artichoke in Newmarket. Here he displayed his personal art collection, including works by Stanley Palmer, Louise Henderson, Philip Clairmont as well as his own work, attracting a discerning clientele with a penchant for the arts.
This culinary diversion took him away from his first love of painting, so 4 challenging yet successful years later, he sold up, despatching himself to Hamburg to reignite the energy he had to paint. During this period Waters explored expansive technical possibilities and wider range of hues, dramatizing painting’s materiality and visual force. He deployed pattern, geometric arrangement, and intense colour combinations to emphasize that vision is a commingling of physical response and unconscious association.
Among his accomplishments, Waters mastered printmaking, designed a stained-glass window, plus costumes and sets for theatre. He participated in many group shows in Paris at the Grand Palais, as well as being awarded a bronze medal at the Salon des Beaux Arts, Juvisy. The various and varied influences that affected Water’s work and development combine to produce a most colourful life story and oeuvre. Some of the intensity and sensuality of Europe is still present in the works painted for this exhibition, A Colourful Life.
"An undeniable feeling of exuberance, exploration and technical confidence." - NZ Herald