TERENCE CLARKE

This collection of paintings is from 2014 and 2015. My travels in Provence, America and Greece have yielded some interesting subjects. My Landscapes have often been related to the idea of seeing a glimpse of water through a complex foreground of trees and shadows. There is something about the anticipation of a view that is intriguing and introduces the idea of exploring landscape as we look at it. That little dash of blue sea we encounter as children, approaching a holiday destination, is part of the thrill of experiencing light and space and I hope to have captured something of that here.

The light of Provence and Greece generates real drama and I like to express this by using vivid colour and intense contrasts. This often means that I transpose tones into bright hues and high- keyed colour. I am always trying to vivify the paintings in order to communicate the intensity of the experience of light in the landscapes. This is what art is always trying to do, translate ordinary experience into an equivalent felt experience.

The still life paintings are, in a sense, a kind of abstract play. Although the pictures are ostensibly about flowers and tables etcetera, the paintings can focus on structure, colour, light and composition in a more abstract way. Compositionally there needs to be a good deal of precision because the picture space is usually quite limited and the sense of formal structure is almost THE subject of the painting. Still lifes are a good way to let my love of colour and nuance take centre stage.

The use of intense colour and bold drawing helps me to develop a strong structure in these paintings. I like to use quite thick paint so as to make a strong painterly statement. The paint is sensuous and rich so as to make the image come alive but also to show the process. The idea that the viewer can see how the painting is made is very important to me. In a sense the viewer constructs the image from the elements of colour, mark and paint placed on the canvas. There is a celebration of the medium here. To some extent this makes the image "new" every time you look at it. As you re interpret the paint marks back into a tree or a lake etc. The viewer is to a large degree engaged in a creative response to the painting. My job as the artist is to give you just the right amount of information for you to "read" the painting as a convincing image of real experience transformed. Then you can make that leap of imagination.

I see myself as a picture maker. Our enjoyment of pictures goes back to the very beginnings of human life. All paintings still operate as a kind of celebration of being alive. As well as being about landscape and still life, these paintings are also about our enjoyment of light. Like Matisse I want my paintings to bring pleasure and a certain joy to the viewer. This requires skill and also some risk taking so I'm never quite sure how things will turn out when I start a painting but that is part of the challenge and always fascinating, creative process. I really hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed making them.

Terence was born in 1953 and studied Fine Art at Lancaster Polytechnic from 1971 - 75, going on to complete a Masters Degree at The Royal College of Art from 1976 - 79. Terence began exhibiting his work directly on leaving College with various galleries in London.

Terence's work is characterized by strong drawing and the use of bold colour and is highly regarded for its composition. His landscapes and still lifes are richly worked with a subtle and expressive use of paint, with influences ranging from Matisse to the Scottish Colourists.

Terence Clarke stands in a tradition of artists who have continued to explore and extend figurative painting as a vehicle for the enjoyment of sheer visual delight. His motifs are simple yet vivid, often filled with an intense light, influenced by his periods of work in France. This gives his work a Mediterranean feel, which makes his work popular with collectors. His work has been placed in some important private collections in Europe and America.

One-man Exhibitions:

The City Gallery, London 1998
Thompsons Gallery, London 1999
Thompsons Gallery, Aldeburgh 2005
Purple Gallery, Birmingham 2007 and 2010
Thompsons Gallery 2009
Seascape Gallery in Godalming, Surrey 2010
Thompsons Gallery Aldeburgh August 2012

Two-man Exhibitions: Thompson's

Gallery, London 1996

Group Exhibitions:

Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
Royal Society of Portrait Painters
Paton Gallery
Totah Gallery
Art '96, '97 and '98
Thompson's Gallery

Permanent Collections: Contemporary Art Society
Banque Normandie
Dudley Museum & Art Gallery
Granada Television

Terence also writes and illustrates articles for Artscribe and has contributed to both the Collins Artists Manual (1995) and Acrylics Masterclass (1994), both published by Harper Collins.

Terence Clarke at Thompson's Gallery