Painted on location in his native Derbyshire, these new works are not only a reflection of the joy of being in the landscape but also a celebration of the very essence of paint itself.
Tarpey Gallery director, Luke Tarpey said: “This is an inspiring new body of work by one of the regions most exciting painters, this is not to be missed by collectors and enthusiasts alike.”
To mark the occasion Luke has interviewed Colin and here is what he had to say.
Firstly, please could you tell us a little about your background and what led to you becoming a full time painter?
I was born in 1964 and brought up on a farm near Appleby in Cumbria. After leaving school I drifted through many jobs until at 21, I decided to do something that I enjoyed with my life. Went back to school got some O levels and applied to college at Carlisle and went on to a degree at Exeter graduating in 1992. Started teaching in 1998 but it was obvious I was making more money from selling art, and given that’s what I wanted to do I went full time as an artist in 2000.
Do you set out to paint a particular scene or are you inspired by what you see while you are out in the landscape?
I do usually have an idea where I am going each day and that is sometimes determined by what I have seen recently on my travels around Derbyshire, or the weather, clear blue sky means the valleys, sunny and cloudy means hill tops, rain might mean woods or still life.
What’s the one thing you’ve done in the last few years that has made the most difference in how you work today?
Well its actually a couple of things, firstly painting on location , this has been building for the last seven years to the point where three years ago I started to do all my paintings en plein air. I struggled for four years going out trying to find a way in that really worked for me. My application has radically changed from ten years ago. Another key thing is I have stripped my palette back to a warm and cool of the primaries and Titanium white.
What are the logistical implications of painting outdoors?
The logistics are its hard work, really hard. I have about 5 -7 litres of oil paint, my easel, rags, palette knifes, my flask of tea and sandwiches in a rucksack and let me tell you after a half mile walk with that you feel like your walking on air when you take it off. I also carry a fold up camping table in one hand which is my palette and a large canvas or box of smaller canvases in the other hand.
Over the course of your extensive career as a painter what subject matter do you enjoy painting the most and what in your experience is the most challenging subject to paint?
Well obviously I love the landscape best, it’s just so endless and inspiring. The hardest subject is the portrait from life … no photos allowed, then we’ll see who can paint!!! Photographs slavishly copied are the worst aspect of Modern Art and have no individuality about them and stop artists using their creativity.
If you could choose one location anywhere in the world to travel to that you haven’t yet painted where would it be?
I know your going to think this is sad but if I could go somewhere I still haven’t been and paint it would be the west coast of Scotland with guaranteed sunshine and clouds.
Tarpey Gallery is at 77 High Street, Castle Donington. For more information go to http://www.tarpeygallery.com