There are many categories of style of painting, all bearing legitimacy in their own right. I choose to paint in the style of traditional realism. I am conservative in my approach employing many of the techniques of the masters of old. I am inspired by the great realist painters of both the past and present, admiring their artfulness and technical mastery.
As a painter I am not interested in being different, shocking, or cutting edge in technique or concept, but rather more concerned with capturing the essence, or beauty of what is present in the landscapes or objects around us. Through the framework of realism I attempt to transport the viewer to another place, awakening their senses, helping them to see what perhaps they had not noticed before or reminding them of what they know and feel but have become dullened to.
I am naturally drawn to realism because, largely, it is what I’m good at – creating the illusion of three dimensional reality on a two dimensional surface. I have found talented drawers often make good realist painters.
Realism is a most demanding style of art, and the more one pushes realism into the realm hyper or “photo realism” the more difficult and challenging the painting process becomes requiring great patience and discipline. I am often asked “how do I do it?” in creating my art. My answer is always the same….”it’s not easy!” I find the painting process can at times be extremely challenging, a battleground if you like, between what I want to paint and what I’m actually painting. Getting the hand, brush and pigment to behave themselves and create what the eye sees and the heart feels is not easy. Copying a photograph or still life set up in front of you is one thing, but capturing and infusing the painting with the illusory, abstract quality of light and atmosphere – a sense of “soul”, is another thing all together.
Arranging the elements and orchestrating the foreground, middle ground and background into a harmonious natural whole, tweaking colour, warmth and coolness, tone and value, all with sensitivity and feeling, is akin to conducting a symphony.
I am a slow painter, preferring to concentrate on quality as opposed to quantity. I care for my work very much and enjoy watching them come to life on the canvas, giving them a heartbeat and hopefully a life long after I have finished with them.