Gwyne Howell James | Artist

Photography #1

Landscape Photography

Photography in a way is set aside from the rest of my artwork and is mostly rooted in my walks around the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast where I was born and raised, it does assist with framing a picture which is a great help in structuring a canvas. It used to be about choosing the light and moment to shoot but now in the digital age I can take an infinite number of shots and render them in my studio.

Oil Painting #6

Landscape Painting
  • 'Psyche' 2001 oil on canvas

Each painting and project have inherited something different, something of what I have been experimenting with, in terms of applying paint to canvas. Sometimes the paint is sprayed, or I throw powder paint over it, I paint with oils over enamels which in certain light seep through to the surface, I drip, drag and splash paint all over various types of stencil, incidentally all of my paintings are on canvas, going through the process of making a canvas, priming it, creating a workable surface; all of this attention to detail makes me feel precious about the work as part of a tradition.

A feature of my paintings, the application of sand to the primer mix, which allows me to physically shape the surface, has become a trademark of my paintings. Whilst the shapes or symbols I create in my paintings give them a sculptured, a three-dimensional aspect yet they are painted on an almost perfectly flat surface. This optical illusion is one aspect of my paintings which, I feel, make them openly accessible.

The symbols have all been drawn up mathematically, using the technical drawing skill I acquired in my youth, of course this is nothing new in fine art since the use of mathematical formulae in painting can be dated back to the Renaissance.

Oil Painting #5

Landscape Painting

‘Alter Ego’ was the last of ‘Inner Landscape’ paintings, designed to express the dark side. It was eventually used or partially used for the GACT trip-tic. I photographed it in a pixilated format and painted it from that image.

Oil Painting #4

Landscape Painting

The ‘Reflections’ paintings came from a poem I had written after the third suicide, of someone at least known to me, in a very short space of time.

To see a bird sail across the sky
Is all I need to want to be alive
Don’t throw your life away said I.

Strolling on the shore on a sunny morn
Watch the waves crash and explode on the sand
It makes you feel glad you were born

Walking in the mountains where the air is thin
Listen to the babbling, crackling of water fall
You know you’re alive and you won’t give in.

But here in this prison cell alone I cry,
No fresh air or noisy birds, no sea or sky,
Now for once in my life, I wish I could die.

the re-use of grids and a triptych to convey a spiritual transcendence along with the red sea kept the paintings in line with with the general advance of my work at that time

Oil Painting #3

Landscape Painting

‘Intellect’ this painting was designed to relay intelligence, knowledge and learning as part of the ‘Inner Landscape’ series of paintings.

Oil Painting #2

Landscape Painting

The ‘Diversity’ paintings were originally practice pieces, experiments I made with different paints and methods of applying them, but they became popular and entered into my portfolio in their own right.