I’ll never forget the first time I came across one of Jonathan’s mesmerising landscapes. It was around 2005 on the Leigh Art Trail, my husband and I were standing outside Moylans, both of us fixated on one of his vast, atmospheric landscapes. It was the kind of painting you could get lost in, timeless, ethereal and yet recognisable as the local estuary. Since then, I’ve come across so many people who own one of Jonathan’s paintings, he has become without doubt, a local Art legend. Armed with just five questions I’ve attempted to find out more about Jonathan, his art practice and what inspires him to paint. When did you first start painting? I can remember as a child at Primary School my teacher was very enthusiastic about my work and gave me a great deal of encouragement. My parents took me to all the main London Galleries and this inspired me from an early age. This started my lifelong creative journey. Who are your favourite artists and why? My work has always been about landscape and light. Therefore very early in my life I became obsessed by the work of Turner, Constable and the Impressionists. I am interested in how artists react to a particular environment. The Shoram series by Samuel Palmer and The Stour Valley work by Constable, show how a relatively small place can inspire a body of work. Kurt Jackson has been a major influence to me in the way he applies paint and his total approach to art and the environment. Explain a normal day in the studio. Generally, I’m in the studio by 10am. The first thing I do is put on some music, either classical, jazz or blues and get on with admin tasks, such as updating my website or contacting galleries. I will then paint through the day, taking a break for lunch and I continue on. I tend to work on several paintings over a period of time. At the end of each day, I clean down paints, palettes and brushes ready for the next day. Then I pour myself a glass of wine, contemplate the day’s work and plan for tomorrow.
What are your favourite Art supplies? I mainly use good quality acrylic paint for depth, colour and longevity. Royal Talens are my preferred paints, I buy my canvases and paper from Great Art suppliers. For my paper I use a heavy duty watercolour paper from Saint Cuthbert’s Mill. What are you working on at the moment? I am continuing to explore the Thames Estuary which never fails to engage me. It is such a rich environment with the elements of land, water and of course, wonderful light. I also work for a range of galleries in the UK. I have just completed collections of The Brecon Beacons, The New Forest, The Stour Valley but my love affair with The Thames Estuary stays with me throughout my life.
Finally we share our cultural highlights of the month. Gallery artist Adrian Lane, releases a new album as part of Whitelabrec's Home Diaries series. Home Diaries is an invitation to artists and musicians to create an album to document their personal experience during lockdown. The series reflects a range of sounds, styles and ideas as each artist portrays their own reflections uniquely.
Create 98’s Jake Bussell is running his own YouTube ArtClub fortnightly on a Monday night. He is incredibly passionate about art and extremely encouraging, it’s well worth joining in. Local children at St Michael’s Primary School have their own Lockdown Art Website created from online lessons by Gallery artist Claire Hankey. They are the artists of the future! You can see the website here........
Gallery artist Susan Allen will be teaching beginner adult art classes through the Summer. On offer there are;
On location Watercolours in the local area Mondays 2-4pm.
Beginner Acrylics Tuesdays 2-4pm and Watercolours Friday 2-4pm
Step by step Art tutorials Thursday 2-4pm
Prosecco and Paint evenings 28th July and 11th August at Create 98 (via Zoom).
Have fun painting, relaxing and drinking! For further information contact Susan on 0787507973