I come from a rural Derbyshire background, and I was born and brought up in Great Longstone, in the White Peak, to a family with connections to the village dating back over 200 years. Though I eventually moved away from the village, I have continued to live in the Pennines, first in Lancashire, and then in County Durham where I now work as a watercolour artist.
When I was young, the extent of my world was the village and surrounding countryside, and because of my interest in land I became a surveyor. Over the years I have researched the history of land use and the changing landscape and developed an increased awareness of geology and weather, farming, mining and quarrying
Influenced first by Constable and Turner, my early paintings were traditional landscapes, idyllic representations of the Derbyshire countryside. I subsequently progressed to making pencil drawings based on memories of hills and moorlands.
The hills and moorlands of Derbyshire, Lancashire, County Durham, Northumberland and the Cheviots, and to a lesser extent, the Borders, are still the starting point of my work, but I now abstract from them, and my pictures are an emotional response to my accumulated memories.
My technique now is far from traditional, and my watercolours are only the first stage of the creative process.
“My watercolour paintings are a journey…..like a journey through the countryside. You will be well aware that the landscape will change during the journey. Some features will make a bigger impression on you than others. So at the end of the journey you will be left with a memory comprising a number of visual images as well as other sensations – sounds, smells, feelings and emotions etc.
The starting point for all my paintings is the landscape but never a specific landscape. The most significant element, for me, is the sky, and its colours, as determined by mood, season and the weather. How I paint the sky shapes the rest of my painting. As I continue to add colour to form the land, my memory and feelings will suggest unrelated images, and eventually my painting will comprise a number of disparate features and forms of landscape which I then, by additional painting, seek to connect. The result will be loose suggestions of landscape which are both familiar and mysterious.”
I then use digital techniques to explore and experiment with my watercolour paintings. I focus on details within the paintings, which I develop digitally into a final image, and then a unique giclee print, which, though abstract, conveys a sense of the landscape, the seasons and the weather, and the essence and quality of the original watercolour painting
If you are interested in talking to me about my work, or buying a print or cards please contact me at email@example.com or on 07783801867.
Please note that I only sell signed limited edition one of one prints.
For updates and news about exhibitions and events, visit my Facebook page, rhwatercolours