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Martin Davis Add to My Favourite Artists

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Biography

I was born and brought up in Shirebrook, a coal mining village in the north east of Derbyshire in the 1950’s and 60’s. For me creating images has always been a form of escapism and I developed a love of painting and drawing from an early age; as soon as I could grasp a brush or pencil in fact. Once a means of escapism in childhood, art has become a private passion that I've carried with me ever since.

Following university in Birmingham (1973-76), and a brief spell in finance, I joined the Fire & Rescue service... a career I completed 30+ yrs later in 2007. I only turned fully to painting from 2008 after I left the fire service and found time to devote to it. 

About my art

There is a feeling of immediacy, of life, of connectedness, with painting that I don't get from anything else, so I have to paint. It’s kind of hard-wired into me. I am principally inspired by colour, but also by light & atmosphere. I paint mainly in oils because I love the texture of the stuff, but I do experiment with other media.

I would describe myself as a modern traditionalist painter. I paint anything from portraits to landscape, figures to abstracts; but it’s a moving feast. I don’t stand still. At the moment my work is exploring the overlap that can exist between abstract and realism. There is so much this can teach you about the way you see your world.

For me the act of applying paint to a surface is an intense personal struggle to capture the essence of a subject as it appears in my mind’s eye. It can be exhausting. There is inner beauty, a sort of “heroic” quality, inside everything if you look hard enough – it doesn’t have to be intrinsically pretty, or attractive or especially worthy of attention. Quite often it’s better if it isn’t.

I’ve never really settled on favourite subject matter – I’ve never wanted to paint one thing any more than anything else. I’m not drawn especially to boats or figures or buildings, or anything whole like that. Rather I find I can be attracted to bits of anything- the shape of a hat, the way a shadow lies across an object tantalisingly concealing it, a glint of light or an unexpected but delightful bit of colour. In my experience such things are very rarely comprised in the whole of something.

When I paint for myself the subject is mainly a carrier for whatever effect I'm trying to achieve at the time, so it can be fairly eclectic. But what I do paint has to move me, I need to be in thrall to it in some way. Exactly what that is I can’t easily explain, but I always become aware of it as I work .... and I'm all done when the feeling has worked itself out. It's a bit like being picked up and then gently put down again by something beyond my own control, but all the time I feel I’m on a thrilling edge. I suppose these days you might call it being in the zone, but with art it is much, much more.

I like to exhibit & sell my work......but it's not why I paint; it never was. Painting for me just calms the soul. It's my private world.

 

Education

I am almost wholly self taught with no formal training beyond school but I’ve been painting or observing all my adult life (in my view observation is key for an artist).

I still consider myself a student practicing my art, probably I always will.

 

2010 shortlisted - Art of Giving National Art Competition, Saatchi Gallery, London.

2012 shortlisted – Saatchi Online Showdown Competition

2012 shortlisted – National Open Art Competition, Chichester

 

 

Current representing galleries;

Whitepeaks Fine Art, Cromford Mills, Cromford, Derbys

Leabrooks Gallery, Leabrooks, Derbys

Outframed, Market Place, Ripley, Derbys

 

                                                                                              
Martin Davis
Martin Davis
Martin Davis
Martin Davis
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