Mike Ponder’s works are bold palette knife oil paintings, full of texture and quiet energy, depicting Australasian farm life.
Mike Ponder believes that his unique style of painting with the palette knife is due to being self-taught. His paintings are bold, full of texture and colour, delicate and with captivating details. Recurring themes in Ponder’s work are Driza-bone clad farmers, figures riding pack-horses, shadowed trees and farmhouses. No matter the subject, one factor remains constant in Ponder’s work- simplicity. Ponder paints only what the eye concentrates on, backgrounds and anything else superfluous to the central theme is left out. His faceless portraits are intentional, as they allow the viewer to project an identity on the work, and also provide an air of mystery.
Over his forty plus years of painting, Ponder has also produced three books of his art. They show some of the best examples of his work in both oils and watercolours. When not painting, Ponder is also an avid writer. In 2002 he wrote his first novel, ‘The Windsor Conspiracy’ which was published in 2007, it became a best-seller and is sold internationally. The sequel ‘Four Kings’ was released in 2012.
Today Mike and his wife Di live on their Marlborough property, Cowslip Farm, which incorporates all his interests- grapes, olives, forestry, and breeding Shorthorn cattle. He divides his time between painting and writing. Mike Ponder is brother to Richard Ponder, who is also an acclaimed New Zealand artist and represented by Black Door Gallery.
No matter the subject matter, one factor remains constant- simplicity. Mike Ponder paints only what the eye concentrates on, backgrounds and anything else superfluous to the central theme is left out.