Claudia Grutke

In colours of the Pacific Ocean, as horizons disappear behind layers of fog, when sky and sea coalesce in winter rain, my subjects reveal themselves to me.

My abstract acrylic paintings explore aspects of nature.
Images evolve as an emotional reflection of my subject.
The process of painting is immediate and tactile.
I build structures and deconstruct layers of paint in a dynamic process.
Bold texture and flowing paint coexist in my art.
Created in a spontaneous and intuitive process, my work challenges to look past the obvious.


Interested people can contact me and view more of my work.

A part of me always wanted to be an artist, but I was sensible and chose a very grounded profession. Much to my surprise, I stayed in healthcare for more than 20 years. It took an earthquake with all its consequences to initiate change.

About time.

And so, six years ago, I took my paintbrush and my spatula and started painting.

In my art, I am self-taught.

My paintings are largely unplanned. Images evolve as emotional reflections of my subject. Painting for me is about the process. You will find recurring themes in my paintings:

  • Beach, sea, and harbour in semi-abstract seascapes.

  • Memories of life in a big city with a busy port.

  • Abstract city views.

  • A series of daydreams is continuously evolving where I explore intuitive spontaneous gestural movements.

  • Dreamy abstracts.

Acrylics allow me to be spontaneous, as there is an immediate directness about them. When I stretch the limits of the paints, they surprise me.

“Horizon and yellow” by Claudia Grutke, acrylic on canvas, 2016, 61 cm x 61 cm (sold, US)

My process usually starts with a vague idea based on a photo, feeling, conversation or memory. There are no sketches. I jump right into the painting. And try not to think in the beginning. I act. One layer in the painting informs the next. I react. Sprays of water lead to paint dripping. Gravity adds an element of coincidence and challenges me. My intuition guides me through the process, and I just follow.

Paintings are finished when there is nothing more to add and the balance feels right.

I have participated in several group exhibitions in Italy, Spain and New Zealand over the past three years and am currently preparing a solo exhibition.

My work is collected nationally and internationally. Many paintings have found permanent homes in the United States, Canada, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Great Britain and in Europe.

In New Zealand, I am represented by Kiwi Art House Gallery, Wellington, and Waihi Beach Gallery, Waihi Beach. Internationally, I am represented by Saatchi Art and Bosco Hong.

© Claudia Grutke