We are delighted to interview Lewis Noble, our artist in residence this month. Lewis' solo exhibition at the gallery starts with a Preview of Friday 21st October from 5:00-8:00pm, until the exhibition lasts until 5th November. His work will be available to observe in his studio at the gallery from the 14th October, for those who cannot make it to the actual preview/exhibition. Lewis was the first winner of the Jonathan Vickers Fine Art Award and he exhibits at various galleries in the UK i.e. London, Bath Chipping Camden, Truro and Dartmouth. His solo exhibition at St John Street Gallery is called "High Peak" and is inspired by the exquisite Derbyshire and Peak District landscape.
Here are Lewis' revealing answers to a few questions about his art:
Why did you decide to become an artist? From an early age I always knew I wanted to do something creative but wasn't sure exactly what. While on my foundation course I was handed some oil paint by a tutor and I remember thinking " I like this" and have been painting ever since.
What inspires you? For the past 20 years I have lived in the Peak District. Although it seems obvious to work with landscape living here, it was a few years before I began using it as a subject. Painting landscape allows a freedom to experiment painterly in a way while a foundation in observation.
What medium of art do you prefer? Why? Working outside is a key part of my work so I use a variety of water based paints. Combining the individual properties of different materials gives a lot of scope for experimentation. In the studio I often use the same paintings as when working outside, although I tend to work with oils on canvases that can be built up over a long period of time.
What do you regard as the key benefit of your workshops to participants? In my workshops I try to teach a working method that you can draw on when approaching your own work. Rather than demonstrating any particular media or painting style, I like to encourage a creative way of thinking and provide a structure to help this along.
What advice would you give to prospective artists who want to attend your workshops? Bring lots of paper, a sketchbook as you will fill it, and baby wipes!
What do you regard as your major achievement? I think it is a privilege to be able to be a full time painter. I always remember how lucky I am when sitting up a hill with my dog while painting and being able to say I'm at work.
Where do you see yourself going from here? I will be satisfied so long as I am able to continue working, exhibiting and experimenting with my painting.