"An artist (as, for instance, the sculptors of Ancient Greece) who present man as a godlike figure, is aware of the fact that men may be crippled or diseased or helpless, but he regards these conditions as accidental, as irrelevant to the essential nature of man, and he presents a figure embodying strength, beauty, intelligence and self-confidence, as man's proper, natural state." AYN RAND

"Wherever I am and whatever I'm doing, I see paintings.  I see concepts, ideas, people and places that I develop in my mind and then paint.  Some ideas germinate and then over time develop into a need to be expressed. 

Before I begin sketching and before making a mark of any kind, the painting has already been created in my mind, but the challenge is to bring the idea to life.  Sometimes it can be a battle, but as the idea strengthens and quietly develops, the work flows. 

I am a deliberate painter.  Every touch on the canvas is essential.  However a lot of how I develop a painting is instinctive. A lot of what I do, I do because it feels right.

Everything I paint is visually expressing an aspect of my very positive 'sense of life'.

I enjoy everything about painting, from the overall sense of free creative power to the tactile feel of the paint stroked onto the canvas. I love to paint."  DAVID KNOWLES

David Knowles is a leading Contemporary Romantic Realist Artist who paints the bright, intense light of New Zealand.  David’s work is unusual in this era because he takes an unashamedly positive and romantic approach to his subjects and illustrates the idealistic beauty possible in the imagination.  Many current artists choose to take the dark road, opening up their canvases to the inner pain and melancholy of the artist's existence, but Knowles consciously chooses to take the path of beauty and light.  From simplified geographical landscapes in perspective on open planes, to idealised depictions of human subjects and the theme of female beauty encompassing childhood, youth and maturity; all have a place and demonstrate a broad appreciation of humanity and the beauty that exists at each stage of life.

The former dairy farmer is a classically trained artist and has received many accolades in his
painting career over three decades.  Knowles stamped his mark early on when he was honoured with two Awards of Merit from the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts in 1979 and in 1980.
During this time, his portrait of New Zealand dancer John Trimmer, was commissioned by the National Portrait Collection.  This work is housed at the Alexander Turnball Library.  David has always enjoyed painting portraits as the creative work continues long after the painting has been completed, each portrait often becoming a living legacy and treasured family heirloom.

In the 1980’s David became closely associated with the Royal NZ Ballet, resulting in a series of wonderful figure studies and a sell-out exhibition in Wellington.  In December 2003 he was invited to show his paintings at the prestigious Biennial of International Contemporary Art Exhibition in the historic city of Florence in Italy.

In recent years David has become a prolific artist, not only with his exquisite New Zealand landscapes, exceptional portraits in his own creative style, but also by undertaking major private commissions including an insightful project to copy exactly in scale and technique a series of Renaissance Masterworks, an experience David found quite thought provoking after having travelled as a young man to the famous art galleries to view and study the work of these renowned artists.

David’s paintings feature in collections not only in New Zealand, but throughout the world including Australia, Great Britain, Canada and the USA.  His work is sold through Galleries throughout New Zealand and in the Quent Cordair Gallery in California.  David lives with his family at Woodside near Greytown in a house overlooking the Waiohine River where he now paints full time.