Published: 2 July 2021
As we welcome gallery artist, John Lines to exhibit his most recent body of work we reflect upon the subjects, drive and influences behind his artistic practice which have allowed him to create the humorous, nostalgic and romantic paintings that are so sought after today.
When discussing the subject matter of his artworks John explained that he is driven everything around him – "the people, the places and the country over". He is particularly drawn to the ex-industrial areas of the UK, his favourites being Wales and the Northeast of England. "The people are always interested in artists in general and seem to understand what I am trying to say through my paintings, so we get on well from the start."
Throughout Lines' early years as an artist his influences came from many different quarters but artist's that stuck in his mind included the likes of Graham Sutherland, Ruskin Spear and even earlier influences included some of the Victorian painters he had studied drove his work forward.
Every artist has their own routine and rituals when it comes to the way they approach their work and John Lines is one of passion and coherence. Lines' paints every day because he enjoys it, he enjoys his whole routine from painting outside (usually in front of the landscape/ object in his painting), he enjoys portraying nature first-hand as he believes, like many other artist's that the only way to depict nature with any amount of truth is. Lines wholeheartedly enjoys the conversations this way of working opens; the way people approach him and share their interest and joy in his methodology.
I asked John what his favourite piece in this current exhibition is and he revisited an experience he had in a small hilltop village in Wales. His favourite piece in this show is, 'Singing Dog Walker' – with the powerful chapel as the centre of interest in this painting Lines began the piece but is quickly altered when down the street came his new subject of interest and his dog! As real life took hold, Lines did not overlook the character on his bicycle, singing down the lane but welcomed him into the forefront of the piece. John pointed out, "...yes I know he is not walking the dog but that's the way they do things down there and of course all the Welsh sing while doing anything, even riding a bike!"
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