Artist Biography - Jonathan Pitts
Landscape paintings for Jonathan are spaces that can free the imagination. They also show ways in which to engage with and appreciate the landscapes that are local to you.
It is important for him to paint in the landscape itself. Being in one spot over a day, he’s conscious of how much change happens in the weather, the wildlife, nothing is still for very long, and he ge...ts absorbed by the changing moods of the landscape.
The artist depicts natural spaces void of human essence; letting his materials create a dialogue of their own, he carefully balances between allowing the paint to simply be, or strictly controlling it. Elements of his look look scratched with vigorous brush strokes, brutal in effect. The effect is a landscape painting that appears full of natural power and strength.
The artist suggests that chance is very important to his working process, as he likes to make suggestive marks that evoke a feeling of a place rather than producing realistic images. His favourite passages in paintings are the ones that he can’t recreate, with each painting becomes unique. Just as in the way that no two days are ever the same, neither are two of his paintings paintings.
Johnathan uses the plein air approach when painting; nature is his studio. Painting outdoors requires the ability to react to the changing light as it unfolds. He loves to work wit paint in a very spontaneous and fluid manor, giving him freedom to respond to natural changes.
The artist aims to make the best painting that he has ever made each time he approaches his paper. Leaving a lot to chance, when I am actually painting, simply because he believes "thinking gets in the way and thinking about the next mark stops the flow, the best marks are made without me realising it"
Inspired by masters such as Van Gogh, on account of the beauty of his work, the artist attempts to reflect this in his own practice. Beauty is an elevating experience, but not always a joyous one; beauty can be bittersweet, a concept that the artist translates fluently through his artistic practice.
After recently being diagnosed as autistic, the artist believes that his drive to paint out in the open is driven by the need for familiarity in the places that he paint. He believes his need to make paintings, is his way of understanding and making sense of the world around him.
Growing up in the countryside, he only ever truly felt content when he was outdoors, now choosing to paint in nature because out of necessity. It is the place, where he feel most comfortable, and therefore most creative.
“I don’t aim to paint exactly what’s there. Rather, I balance representation with how the place makes me feel, continuously interpreting and designing. Pictorially I think of my images as being somewhere in between abstraction and representation.
Painting in all weathers can be challenging. Working through a storm with rain drops bouncing off the wet paper is a risky way to make a painting. However these unplanned surprises can add so much to a piece, so I persevere.”
He is particularly attracted to the river Thames, the reflections in the water are a constant inspiration. The riverbanks are beautiful at all times, he aims to celebrate this in his pictures.