Monday, 7 November 2011
Introducing Richard Stanley
Richard Stanley has very kindly answered all of my irritating questions so well that I am just going to let you read them for your self:
Do you have a working routine?
I’m a workaholic I have to be painting, if I’m not I get fidgety. I love being in the open air, discovering new places.
How you work?
I enjoy working in the "plein air" tradition; all of my work starts in the landscape. It is this hand’s on approach to painting that I enjoy most, pitting myself against the elements. The spontaneity of working outside, forces me to work quicker to capture the moment, I then like to consider them back in my studio in Devon, and live with them for a while.
This technique provides immediacy and an intimacy with the landscape to which I am responding. The place, the wind and the weather are directly participating in the painting process, as the elements move the paint around the paper. This serendipity of colour and texture result in the most exciting images.
Why do you work?
I produce these landscape paintings as a form of escapism, just for me, there’s something very elemental about connecting with the landscape in this manner. Just me in a field recording what I see. The landscape is always changing, every day something new to paint, changing weather, light, seasons. You could paint the same scene hundreds of times and no two would be the same.
I draw inspiration from the colours around me; I enjoy experimenting with mark making and surface texture, Appling paint in a manner that captures the landscape. I always feel excited about those unexpected, what I call ‘happy mistakes’ when something doesn’t go to plan, but you discover a new way of working because of it.
I take influence from a diverse set of artist movements from the Impressionists, Sisley, Monet and Pissarro to the Abstract Expressionists, De Kooning, Pollock, Auerbach, Kossoff. I also like the application of paint of Tai-Shan Schierenberg and Lucian Freud. On a more local level, Cornwall has a wonderful artistic heritage, the Newlyn School for example Stanhope Forbes, Henry Scott Tuke and co.
Having lived in and around the Falmouth area during my student days at Falmouth College of Arts, It’s been wonderful to get back to some of my old haunts, I have spent a lot of time living in this landscape and have some great memories and I think this is evident in the body of work I have produced. It’s been interesting to take a fresh look at these landscapes my passion for them still as strong as ever.
What do you listen to while working?
I have an eclectic taste in music. The Music I listen to when I’m painting can set the pace of the painting so It largely depends what type of painting I’m doing; if it’s something semi-abstract then I will listen to something up-tempo, likewise if I’m painting something more descriptive I would probably be listening to something slower.
What make of paints do you use.
Various, I often use Old Holland Classic Oil Colour and Michael Harding Artists Oils both of these have excellent colour strength and are very light- fast.
Your desert island piece of art equipment, i.e. what are you never without?
Most artists carry sketch books with them, I never go out in the car without realms of paper, canvas and paints, ready to climb over a gate if something catches my eye, so it’s difficult to choose just one, but if pushed I would say the trusty old pencil, often under rated but extremely versatile as a medium and lightweight too!
What ticks your boxes and what doesn't?
I’m attracted to non- aesthetic painters, I like paintings which just tips over the edge from something with is “pretty” to something with a bit more gravitas.
My own work is becoming increasing concerned with surface texture and mark making; oil is applied wet on wet, thicker and more directly, producing an intermingling and interaction of colour. The paint is pushed and pulled with great movement and energy using pallet knifes and rapidly applied brushstrokes, working with great immediacy to capture the fleeting transient qualities light and the essence of the landscape. The work is more than just a record of the environment; it also represents my connection with the landscape
What do you take in your sandwiches when you go painting?
Never Sandwiches always pasty’s, I love them, probably my favourite food. The best pasty I ever had was home-made and about a foot long, I won’t tell you who made it for me but you know who you are (Gaby), It did take me two sittings to finish it though!
What is your studio like?
Organised chaos (my girlfriend would probably dispute the first part of that statement). The studio is somewhere for finishing touches for me really I like to look at the work fresh and tweak back in the studio.
Where do you get your materials?
Various suppliers, I get a lot from my local art supply store.
When did you start painting and why?
I have always drawn and painted since a child, I started painting with oils when I was about thirteen having been painting with watercolours and acrylics for some time prior to that. Whilst studying for my degree I was living in Constantine, and was tempted out into the landscape with my paints of paper and haven’t looked back since.
Did your mum or dad paint or did they think you were wasting your time?
No, they never thought I was wasting my time, I’m very lucky in that my parents have always been supportive of my painting career. To be honest it’s not really something that ever came into question, I’ve always painted so there were no surprises that it has become my means of making a living. The Artistic gene shows up on both sides of my family, my mother is artistic and my paternal grandfather was very artistic too. My partner Amy Hearn also has always been very supportive; we trained together at Falmouth and she now also practices as an artist and degree level lecturer, although we have too very different styles.
Respected Cornwall based artist Gary Long was my Life drawing tutor whilst at Falmouth College of Arts his work has always inspired me and I still keep in touch with him to this day. But I have always pushed myself and most of the techniques I now incorporate have resulted from my own independent experimentation.