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Monday, January 23, 2012

David Poxon - Interview, January 2012

Contemporary watercolour artist painting to achieve almost photo realistic effects using traditional multi glazing techniques with up to 17 layers of transparant paint. Deapth, tonal extremes, and luminosity are prevalent in all the works. In May 2010 David was elected into the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours (RI) whos home is the Mall Gallery ,London.

David Poxon. Another World 2.

David, after visiting of your gallery (works painted in 2011) I had a feeling that you spend a lot of time in garage or barn. How do you find your inspiration? What is the background of your artistic search?
I was born in the heartland of England at a time when there was a lot of heavy industry. My childhood was spent happily exploring this arena amongst the thousands of working people that lived and worked there . As a young boy my Grandmother gave me a box of watercolour paints, from that moment I was hooked on the wonders of painting. Through this I was able to discover a whole other world where anything is possible. Now I live in the countryside, but regularly visit old Industrial sites and Farmyards where there is an integrity and honesty in the daily struggle of working men and their machines. As nature reclaims these man made items for itself it creates its own beauty that could not be constructed other than through the passage of time.

David Poxon. Factory at Down.

All the objects of your painting look like actors, whom we see in the strong stage lights picking them from the darkness. They  remind  me the dramatic Caravaggio`s images. Do you have some references in history of Art?
I have been fortunate to have worked in the music industry and have traveled far and wide, working with some of the worlds greatest performers. There is a close synergy between all the great forms of artistic expression, and many musicians and artists  cross over between the disciplines. I do regard the subjects of my paintings as performers on a stage, and approach them with some reverence in order to portray them in their most flattering situation. I do this out of respect for their endurance. It is light that makes our world navigable, and to capture light in a painting is as mysterious as it is important. I purposefully leave nothing out of my painting that is not there in reality, and put nothing in that is not there, seen, or felt. I am not after a quick impression of the subject, I am after a greater exploration to somehow get to the essence of a time and place, to try to get to the soul of a subject is tremendously joyful.

David Poxon. Blue Ford Tractor.

Do you get all your textures` variety by using only transparent watercolours?
Yes I use a pure watercolour technique and do not use any white pigment. The whites in my paintings are preserved paper, or areas where paint has been removed. I use a variety of painting techniques to achieve the desired effect, this is not a quick process as sometimes there are up to 20 layers of thin glaze on certain sections. Each has layer of paint has to dry before applying the next. I spend a lot of time watching the paint dry! Watercolour is a magical medium, during both the application and drying process strange and wonderful things can happen to the surface, I sometimes feel as if the work is painting itself.
David Poxon. Machinery at a Farm.
All your works are very balanced. How do you work on composition? Do you make a sketch first? Do you use reference photos?
Its important for me to understand the construction of the painting elements. The more advance drawing that is done the better. However use as few lines as possible on the w/c surface for the actual painting. I never rearrange my subject in real life, I move myself continuously through the scene to find the most stimulating position where the light brings things to life. Most importantly it is tonal value that transmits the ‘real’ of a subject. Tone is more important in the order of things than colour, but drawing is always first. As I might spend weeks on my larger works preparation and accurate drawing is vital. I take reference photos, and also make sketches, and even rehearse passages of painting that I think may prove difficult later. By the time I draft the subject onto the final painting paper, which is always prestretched on large boards, I have a good idea as to the order of work. Thinking time upfront is never wasted time. I know there is an urge to ‘get painting’ –but it can be frustrating as the best painting technique can never hide bad drawing.

David Poxon. Wiper Control in a Red Tractor
How long it takes to make such a detailed painting?
Depending on the complications, for example ‘Field of Dreams’ was a complex subject that took me a long time to unravel and understand. That painting took about two months from start to finish, but I worked on other paintings at the same time. Other smaller works might only take one or two  weeks depending on how familiar I am with the subject.
Do you make versions of the same object or idea?
Yes I sometimes do several versions, and also different sizes. The danger of this is losing the first moment of inspiration . A new subject is always more exciting and gives a fresh time to explore.
David Poxon. Field Of Dreams
I noticed that most of your paintings are not very big but quite detailed but you have also some works bigger than standard sheet  of watercolor paper. What is your painting size preference? What goals do you have when you chose a paper size?
After a large work , which for me is 30”x40” (Arches 300lb not watercolour paper) I like to do several smaller ones by way of relaxation as working on the big ones can be quite an intense and exhausting experience.
What is the moment when you know that the work is ready?
The painting always tells you its done. Suddenly its time to walk away! I usually then put them on the floor with a mount round them for about 2 weeks to let them breath and live on their own –and finally they go into y store or off to the framers and a show.
David Poxon. 12111 Zetor Chrystal
Do you consider watercolors more graphic or painting medium?
I believe you can render anything with watercolours. There is no limit if you take the time and have the patience. Look at the great works of Andrew Wyeth –a real master of American painting , watercolour did not restrict his powers of observation and technical mastery.
David Poxon. Plate on a Red Tractor
Do you paint every day?
Yes , everyday I get into the studio to work on some aspect of painting. There is no more meditative state than when you are truly in the ‘zone’ mid painting, time has no meaning !
David Poxon. Pots
Do you prefer the country or the city to live?
We live in the countryside now, and everyday is a joy, but I also like visiting exciting cities!
David Poxon. Milking Machine
Do you keep an eye on Art life? Are you interested in what other artist fellows are doing in Art?
Yes I am always interested in the work of others, all painters are on the same journey of discovery. This year will be very busy. In addition to sending my work to the Royal Institute annual show in London at the Mall Gallery in March, I have also formed a small group of watercolour artists ( 2 x RI members and 2 x RWS members) with who I share similar subject interest. We have called it ‘Art of the Real,’ and will be doing shows together in the UK, China and USA starting in Charleston SC in April and also Adburgh UK at the same time. The tour dates are on my website.

My usual question: what brands of paints, brushes, paper do you use?
I use Winsor and Newton Artists colours. Paper - smaller works I use Bockingford 200lb  Not surface up to 18”x26” , larger works I use Arches 300lb which is available as 40” x60” sheets which I have cut in half. Brushes mainly synthetic , and some mop brushes. I also use some hog hair brushes for various techniques.

1 comment:

  1. Hola descubro su blog, enhorabuena por su pintura y gracias por darnos a conocer todos estos maestros de la acuarela, saludos