Maurice Middleditch is a well know Central Otago watercolourist whose paintings have won many awards. Maurice was a signwriter before he became a painter in the mid 1980's, at which time he transitioned to painting large murals for public spaces such as the Antarctic Centre in Christchurch and the Canterbury Museum. In 1999 he moved to Bannockburn in Central Otago to paint landscapes full time.
Maurice is an accomplished artist in both oils and acrylics, but these days he mostly paints in watercolours. He finds watercolour is the perfect medium for capturing the fleeting effects of light and atmosphere that are characteristic of his work. Maurice likes to stretch his paper - he prefers a Saunders 300gsm rough - so that it stays taut and doesn't buckle under the washes. He paints a scene in the time honoured fashion, starting with the sky, then the middle distance and coming forward to the foreground. The key, he says, is to avoid including too much detail in the foreground, and most importantly, knowing when to leave it alone.
Maurice's paintings have won many awards, including first prizes in the Arrowtown Autumn Festival and the Peters Doig competition. At the age of 76, having spent almost 20 years painting the Central Otago landscape, Maurice still looks forward to entering his work into competitions and exhibitions.