arthead sf

arthead sf blog was created to bring readers the meaning behind the art. These are not critiques or interviews with artists. Each feature is written entirely by the artist, revealing only what they feel and want readers to know about the featured piece. If you see a piece of art you'd like to know the meaning me. And subscribe to my blog below to get updates when new features are posted!


Sunday, October 01, 2006

James Riches

"Vision in Black"
14 3/4 in x 22 in / 375mm x 560mm
Watercolour on 185gsm paper

"Inspiration is such a fleeting, difficult idea to pin down. There is a vast and rich source of material from 19th and 20th century art, there’s music, cinema, books, nature - it’s all very non-specific, sometimes it’s just the briefest sensation that passes through you.

My ideas are usually drawn as visual notes in a sketchbook and put aside for some months, possibly years before I come back and develop them into a more substantial image. This gives the ideas time to mature without being suffocated by the inital wave of inspiration, I find that working in a burst of excitement and adrenalin leads to bad ideas and badly executed work.

This piece was developed from a small graphite and watercolour sketch of the winged figure drinking at the water. Looking through some old sketch books I rediscovered this image and it seemed ready to be worked into a finished piece - it had a passive, gentle quality that appealed to me, but I wanted it to explode into a more chaotic and dramatic scene.

Symbols are very hard to define or be specific about. I’m in the process of developing a Fine Art practice in conjunction with my Illustration work. They are two distincly different creative worlds, but there is a sensibility and symbolic nature that runs through all my art that is my way of processing the world visually. Humans have this amazing capacity for abstract thought that is demonstrated in virtually every aspect of life, in the physical landscape and our personal interior worlds.

When I’m using colour I tend to mix from a very skeletal pallete. I’m still in the process of learning about colour and how to use it effectively, but the one thing I have learnt is that ‘less is more’, working with a slim selection of well chosen colours gives the finished work a nice sense of cohesion. As my work develops technically, the longer I spend on each piece. Vision in Black would have taken 15-20 hours for the finished artwork. I don’t feel as rushed these days about finishing pieces. As my style establishes itself, I feel like I have a more solid base to work from and try to enjoy the creative process and all the highs and lows associated with it."

By James Riches


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