The Art of Andrew Cowdell MA
Beauty is envisaged here as William Blake’s “marriage of the contraries”, dependent upon both positive and negative aspects of existence.
The West Berkshire landscapes around my home offer huge possibilities for subjects which emancipate imagination from the familiar world. Presenting these settings as 'real' places - many of the landscapes being based on specific locations - my artwork insists on combining emotions with topographies. At once intensely real and symbolic, my paintings and drawings are concise embodiments, inscriptions of feeling in the very fabric of the natural environment.
My early years in scientific illustration taught me how to observe the natural world and communicate its complex biological principles. These skills have helped me progress as a painter and continue to influence my sensibilities as an artist. I understand a tree’s formation, from the curved boughs and their unpredictable growth of branches to the myriad of pointing twigs at the outer edges. It is important to recognise the singularity of the subject…to become a scholar of that tree. Then, as you move closer to the canvas, you can see how the science gives way to an abstract play of expressive lines. It is this transformation, from real to surreal, which I find deeply fascinating; the subject refers to something over and beyond itself.
OLD FIRE STATION GALLERY, HENLEY-ON-THAMES
10 JULY TO 16 JULY 2019
"New to Henley: a stunning exhibition of fine art oil paintings and drawings by artist Andrew Cowdell, MA. Andrew’s traditional style draws influences from Old Master and Pre-Raphaelite painting techniques. Come and appreciate beautiful landscapes and portraits captured by masterly brushwork that is rarely achieved by an artist painting today."
It is precisely these sober tones which propel these landscapes into the gloomy, contradictory universe of romanticism.
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