12 May 18. John Virtue creates landscapes, often on large canvases in black and white. He uses mainly white acrylic paint, black ink and shellac. His work has an abstract look but retains figural elements. The reproductions look intriguing, but I’m sure that they need to be seen in the flesh, which I haven’t yet done. I’m interested in the fact that his paintings are more of an emotional response to the landscape, rather than an accurate depiction of a scene. John Virtue:
John Virtue’s way of working reminded me of the talk I went to by artist Phil Reynolds (Blog 43), who’s work, as described on his website, “explores the ground between abstraction and figuration where forms emerge from a fluid use of acrylic paint”.
Phil Reynolds, “Turnaround”:
And again, I was reminded of paintings I’d seen by another Yorkshire artist, Katherine Holmes (Blog 2). In her case there is less abstraction but still there is an expressive response to the landscape that gives her work an added dimension.
Katherine Holmes, “Summer, Malham Cove”, Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate:
I’ve been reading the book, “Graham Sutherland, Inspirations” by Rosalind Thuillier, who says of Sutherland, “Although certain places may have provided the source of his inspiration, he never intended that any painting should specifically represent an exact place at a particular time”.
This way of working is one that I intend to experiment with more often.