Archived: John Haywood

John Haywood Crossing Pont Alexandre III Paris

Watercolours have long held a fascination for me and, although I did an art degree and have had the pleasure to devote much of my career working in the arts, it’s only relatively recently that I’ve picked up a brush again. I was first drawn to landscape painting and the rich tradition of using watercolours to capture and depict nature’s beauty; scenes often characterised by the absence of any obvious human intervention. More recently however, I’ve undergone an aesthetic volte-face and have increasingly been attracted to more urban scenes, often characterised by a particular absence of nature. The work that I’ll be showing in Angela’s studio will draw on both landscapes and cityscapes.

My paintings fall into a watercolour category known as ‘impressionistic’. I don’t seek to mimic a photograph-like realism, but rather try capture a feeling or mood of a subject, whether that is of a specific place, a quality of light or time of day. The approach I pursue in my painting is known as a direct approach. Instead of building up layer upon layer of thinly applied transparent washes, I endeavour to paint boldly with the minimum number of washes and, ideally, brushstrokes needed to portray a subject.

I’m honoured that my work is held in private collections – what I like to call people’s homes – far and wide, from Wales to Milan, and from Hove to Finland. It should however be noted that the last time I publicly exhibited a watercolour was 29 years ago in 1988 as part of my degree show. To put the rarity of this event into context, 29 years is how long it takes Saturn to orbit the sun. This analogy suggests that the next opportunity to see an exhibition of my watercolours – mind, body, soul and Trump willing – may be in 2046. So, I very much hope that you’ll be able to visit me and my paintings in the glorious surroundings of Angela’s studio for what might prove to be an exceptional – if not quite stellar – occurrence!

Whilst my paintings will be there on Saturday 27th May, I will only be there in person – and hopefully painting on and off during the day – on Sunday 28th May.

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