How did you first get into art and painting?
“I was fortunate to have parents who love art. From a young age I was taken to exhibitions and always encouraged in creative pursuits.”
Why did you choose representational art over other art forms?
“As a young painter I saw the need to have a grounding of drawing as a tool. This doesn’t mean I’m tied to only producing work in a representational art form but that I am confident when executing works in this field.”
How would you describe your style?
“I suppose all the works for me are the glorification of paint, like a playground of surface where I manipulate paint in all different ways. Sometimes it works. If I were to pigeonhole myself to one specific style it might impede on future works.”
Who are you inspirations?
“Nicolai Fechin, the Russian master, is my greatest influence. I have a selection of books which I delve into when I’m in need of guidance. I recently purchased a book on Alex Kanevsky from the Dolby Chadwick gallery.”
Lewis’s favourite painting by Nicolai Fechin
What do you think was the richest era for painting?
“The turn of the 19th century stands out for me as being a key influence on my work, both with subject matter, but more noticeably for colours, with the introduction of so many new paints. It came about almost entirely as a result of the demand at the time for textile dyes. I see that period as polar opposite to the representational work produced now, where dark and atmospheric works are more favoured.”
What techniques did you learn at LARA and how do you apply them in your current work?
“The foundation of my teaching was in the sight-size method, but another technique I learnt at LARA was called ghosting; when working on a cast drawing, you use a putty rubber pressed thin to lightly remove some of the charcoal leaving a ‘ghost like’ copy of the image behind, I have admittedly adapted
this technique to my painting practise. When I am unhappy with an area of a work, I will go through several grades of abrasive paper and wire wool reworking a surface until smooth, only to work on it again, but having created a faded image as a footing.
I chose to study at LARA after visiting at one of their open days and talking to students who were already studying there. There is a real sense of energy and life to the work that was being created by these fellow artists and I was compelled to enrol.”
Lewis will exhibit his work at our upcoming show “Atelier | the Art of Representation” 1st – 4th December at Mall Galleries. RSVP to the Facebook event to stay updated.