An Artist's Studio

An Artists StudioSitting in my studio looking out over the Buckinghamshire countryside, I find myself reminiscing on what makes me feel so passionate and yet so restless about my work. It has a way of taking over and I am moved, as ever, by a conviction that the next painting will be better than the last, that my best work is yet to come. I have always invested a lot of emotion in my work and I hope this comes through, reflecting not only the image in the painting, but something of my personality as well.

From the time of my first life drawing class at the age of 15 I knew I had found my niche. Life drawing has been the basis of my work ever since, a strong discipline inbred from those early days. Even in a landscape the figurative content will be my focal point regardless of how small that content is.

I have painted in most mediums over the years - the lushness of oils, the translucent softness of watercolour, the simplicity of pastel. Some subjects lend themselves more to one technique than another. As I work I think in terms of shape and colour, light to dark, dark to light, which in watercolour especially gives depth and contrast. I feel the need to explore each subject thoroughly, looking at all angles, all approaches, before determining the final image.

As a figurative artist, the human form is my big love - that moment when I see an image coming to life on the paper or canvas is pure magic. It may be a particular pose or shape, or the way the light falls across a face in a certain way. It may even be the simple way the washes work in a purely abstract background. The face tends to be the focal point, generating a sense of excitement as I work my way across the various features in three-dimension - the bone structure, the hair, and most importantly the eyes capturing that magic sparkle of life.

Gordon King's Studio

When working with a model it's important for me to recognise the strong influence her personality can have on a painting. I always begin with a gesture or an attitude in my mind and give her this direction. Then we search together. Her individuality should always come through thus providing the subtle difference that makes each painting unique. When I paint a portrait, although it demands a slightly different approach, I still concentrate on the lights and darks within the overall shape. As long as these are right the likeness will follow.

When I am painting, I'm in a world of my own. Time is suspended. The silence around me is electric with anticipation. Inspiration and imagination conspire with the flow of paint and instinctive brushwork to create something new and unique. I have always felt very privileged to be able to do something I love to earn my living and if I can give some pleasure to others in the process I feel highly rewarded.