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Leaves in Essex Painting

Harvey Taylor

United Kingdom

Painting, Oil on Canvas

Size: 35.4 W x 27.6 H x 0.8 D in

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About The Artwork

Oil on canvas

Details & Dimensions

Painting:Oil on Canvas

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:35.4 W x 27.6 H x 0.8 D in

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Graduated from Winchester School of Art in 1993 and then moved to Colchester in 1997 to teach art at the Sixth Form College where I am now the Head of Art and Design. My painting has evolved from abstract paintings to more exact realist work. Painting is something I feel I have to do and I use the places I visit and people that I know well as my subject matter. I don’t do preparatory sketches or any under drawing but instead I use a grid to carefully transpose the colours, shapes and lines of an image to canvas. During my degree at Winchester School and Art, and for ten years after, I developed a body of abstract paintings where I was letting the imagery emerge as I worked. However, I grew dissatisfied with this way of working. Seeking a way of making figurative images and wanting to have a way of working that was more controlled I looked towards using a photographic image as my source material. Dissecting every day photographs that I have taken is now my main artistic practice. Selecting an image to transform into a painting is the hardest part as I know I will be working on it for a number of weeks and maybe months, depending on the size of the canvas. I will start by breaking the image down using a grid. A small hole is cut into a piece of card and this is placed over the image so I only see a small portion at a time. This way of working was inspired by Malcolm Morley and his superrealist paintings. I then proceed to meticulously and objectively build up a painting from very close observation of these small pieces. The distance I place between the photographic image and the painting enable me to stay focused and work over a long period of time on a piece of work in order to build up a visual intensity. Using artist quality paints means the colours can really sing through. Although I am not a weaver the painting process feels like creating a tapestry. The image now emerges through the slow process and on closer inspection the painting resembles an abstract painting where the materiality of the paint is very evident. Combining my practice with my teaching means that regularity and diligence are very important to me. There should be no day without at least a couple of hours visit to the easel working on a painting. The seascapes and landscapes are often liminal spaces that are empty of people. They reflect a solitary place where you can reflect on life’s journey.

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