Maynard Waters was born in Sydney, NSW in 1936 and learned the carpentry trade working with his father. His work took him town to town and country to country where he met characters and saw places which he painted for relaxation and personal pleasure rather that doing art for art’s sake.
It was in Canberra that he was first persuaded to send some of his work to an occasional gallery. They quickly sold and by 1967 he was making a good living from painting and today his work is featured in public and private galleries both in Australia and overseas.
Maynard is in a large group of highly successful painters who find it unnecessary to enter into art prizes, having the attitude it is simply not worth the high drama, but states his satisfaction comes from watching the faces of the public as they view his artwork, they make the best judge of whether he has a winner or not.
Children make the greatest judges – their judgment is fair and final and his works therefore have an appeal to children of all ages as there is always a glimpse of nostalgia, humour and sometimes satire to be seen in his creations. He works with a basic simple philosophy that the best and glossiest publicity doesn’t help – it is good work or no sales!Europe and its historic places with its traditions and castles did not inspire Maynard Waters’ brush as he had no feel for the landscape but the experience reinforced his attraction to ordinary people and simple things…’old men, women and children; dogs, horses, broken timber, a broken bicycle and the debris of people scraping a living. If I find a pot of geraniums, graffiti on the wall, a blue potty or a pair of dungarees on the line, I paint them in. I aim for warmth and fluid colour’. Maynard Waters taught for a time at the Canberra Technical College and went through the trauma of indecision as to whether he should teach or paint. Despite his love for an easy lifestyle, Maynard is a perfectionist and found that he could not do tow things at the one time and do them both well. However his teaching experience taught him new ‘tricks and techniques’ and admits to having gained new ideas from the students he taught.
Maynard works hard at his paintings and whilst he works quickly on the canvas, much time is given to pre-planning and innovative thinking starting with a comprehensive oil sketch, he builds up the basic surface with paint, generally unmixed straight from the tube using very fine brush-work and completing a canvas in 6 to 10 sittings. His philosophy doesn’t support the idea that an artist paints better when he is starving – nothing succeeds like success and Maynard Waters is no exception.