Back home from a year working abroad, one of our regions best painters in watercolours, John Fieldhouse evokes Spanish heat and shade against the cool light of Northern England in works of contrasting subject and scale; showing with hand-thrown studio porcelain by Ivar Mackay.
After two highly successful shows at the Shire Pottery Gallery John Fieldhouse returns to Alnwick for his third solo exhibition. Those who know Johns work well have been keenly awaiting these works, curious to see how he has met the challenge of depicting the warm but strong light of the Spanish Riviera in contrast to Northumberlands colder more reflective face.
In the past decade John Fieldhouse has built up a strong following amongst landscape aficionados for his evocative, loosely brushed watercolours which seem to capture effortlessly the quality of light and grandness of scale of Northumberland. Sketching and using water-based media, John is inspired by shadow play and sudden dramatic changes in the quality of light on land, water and sky.
The places I paint have been visited many times in my mind. I am drawn to certain abstract forms, themes and compositions. I feel the invisible patterns made by our presence, the trails and shapes we leave, as part of some relationship with a place, and the interaction of those patterns with other shapes and the sky.
…I usually begin with a pencil drawing, but the finished painting bears little resemblance to it as the energy of the paint starts to take over. The pigment doesnt stand overworking. I feel it is better to just let it be. The graphite then recedes to a secondary position. On other occasions I work with compressed charcoal, which becomes an essential and dominant part of the painting.
Born in Leeds in 1954, John began to concentrate on painting ten years ago, exhibiting in galleries in and around Newcastle-upon-Tyne, also contributing to mixed shows in London. In 1994, John collaborated with fellow artist Robert Turnbull to set up of The Chatton Gallery. After three years in partnership he decided to concentrate on painting full time. John Fieldhouse has returned this year to live and work in North Northumberland.