Winter 2014 Newsletter

 In Newsletters

Why do I do it?

A fellow artist, and good friend, asked me why I include images of iconic art in my new paintings. Was it merely to surprise or shock? Another friend asked, “Why choose East Sussex, East Sussex isn’t dramatic, is it?I thought I would share my answers with you.

Guardian at Pevensey Castle

I paint the East Sussex landscape because that’s the countryside I discovered as a child. It was the only rural part of England that was familiar to me. It was the countryside we passed through by train or by coach if we were going for a day at the seaside.

Pen and ink drawing of Pevensey Castle

My memories shape me and the art I make. They take me back to the junior department at art school when I was introduced to the works of the world’s great artists, the iconic paintings and sculptures in London’s museums and galleries. I include images of the art I remember because that says something about my past and something about the present time.

These landscape paintings of mine are memories of a place, when I was there as a child, or on a more recent visit.

I live in the 21st Century where different images fight to be noticed and constantly interrupt my gaze. I want to express that experience in my painting.

Pevensey Castle

The accurate depiction of the scene isn’t important to me. A photograph is an accurate depiction, so why paint it? I want my paintings to do more than a photograph can do.

There is something else I want to do through the medium of these landscapes. By deliberately painting a frame around the painting, and then painting the iconic images partially outside the expected area of the painting and onto the frame, I hope to make the viewer question their perception. To ask, “Is the thing we call ‘realism’, which is nothing more than an illusion of the three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional surface, merely technique, and should it be the artist’s concern in the 21st Century, when computer animation can do it so much better?”

Fifer at Pevensey Castle. (oil painting in progress)
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