Partridge Green-based artist Grahame Morgan-Watson is exhibiting at Chichester’s Oxmarket Gallery for the fifth time in five years, this time from April 23-May 5.
“I hope anyone who may have seen my work will notice some significant changes in style and approach,” Grahame said.
“What remains common in my work is my joy in the use of vibrant colours and deep textures and the sense of play with abstract impressions. I can be a bit extravagant with quantities of paint I use when working with palette knife, but I make use of a variety of gel mediums that not only have the advantage of bulking out the paint, but add a degree of luminosity to the finished work.Some of the pieces you will see at the Oxmarket this month take the textural theme to a more 3D approach, from utilising material stiffener to create structures that extend beyond the canvas.
“Two of the paintings that will be on show have this feature. Soaring is an A1 canvas featuring a raised sea eagle adorned with imitation gold leaf, swooping above an abstract land. The bulk of the bird is constructed of stiffened canvas, firmly glued to the main canvas.
“Neglecting has a local interest, inspired from the time my wife and I lived in Birdham and the many years of sailing from Dell Quay. The derelict boat depicted is derived from the rotting wooden vessel that sits on the muddy harbour of Dell Quay. The structure is another using strips of stiffened canvas and wood splinters, attached to the main A1 canvas. Most of my work is presented in floating mounted frames. Only the metre-square paintings like Boundless Dimensions and Brilliancy are without, however being a deep canvas, I ensure the paintings include the sides.”
Grahame added: “I’ve lived in West Sussex for most of adult life, having spent my formative years living in such far off lands as India, Aden and North Borneo where my father built his aviation career as an airline pilot.
“My parents did not ship my two older brothers or myself back to England for our education, choosing to install us at a variety of local English speaking schools. This didn’t exactly set me up for my final year of exams, upon our return to live in Bognor Regis, but I did manage reasonable O level grades in art, maths and biology of all things.
“Such inauspicious credentials denied my keen interest in organ music. That interests transpired in a 40-year career in the music industry, working for Yamaha Music and Casio Keyboards and instrument retail management and partnerships in the Chichester area and my own shop in the Horsham district.
“Art has played a huge role in my life, from live performances in bands at Sussex coast resorts and amateur dramatics in Rudgwick where I hosted a jazz club in our local pub until it was closed early 2000s.
“Having encouraged all my own children to take up art, I realised in 2007 that I had not encouraged myself to paint. I had always been attracted to palette knife work and set about playing with oils, palette knife and canvas. This self-realisation for a personal calling, emerged following a ten-year learning cycle in a variety of personal development skills.
“From 2001 I embarked on series of high level accreditations as a master practitioner and certified trainer of neuro-linguistic programming, teacher of the Enneagram personality styles, language and behaviour profiling and Feldenkaris; awareness through movement practitioner.
“From all this modelling and years of self-observation, I would offer others that the biggest obstacle to the creative process for anyone taking up an artistic interest is that of the Inner Critic and it’s collusion with “Comparing to Others”.
“Whilst no-one would decry that some skills are useful, and discerning that you as the artist. Like what you have created is valuable in creating a satisfactory piece of art, we can also be aware that all art is subjective. We don’t all like the same thing, and there is a joy in the co-creativity of sharing the diversity of artistic expressions. I learnt that from my youth living and learning alongside the indigenous peoples of North Borneo.”