ARTIST Q&A: DAVID SAWYER ANSWERS QUESTIONS LEADING UP TO THE OPENING OF HIS NEW SOLO EXHIBITION IN LONDON

Published: 5 October 2018


Decorated landscape painter David Sawyer is set to debut new landscape paintings in Thompson's Gallery London on 17th October 2018. Featuring breathtaking views from some of the UK's most prestigious grounds including Oxford, Cambridge, and Central London, Sawyer's technique and mastery of palette shine through in every painting.

Above: A painting from Sawyer's upcoming exhibition |  Late Afternoon, the Great Quad, Trinity, Cambridge | Oil on board | 8'' x 12'' | £1250 CLICK HERE TO ENQUIRE/LEARN MORE

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Sawyer hasn't limited his scope to just Britain; the celebrated painter has also depicted classic scenes about greater Europe, including Venice, Italy and Jerez, Spain. 

David Sawyer has won numerous accolades in the arts, most recently induction to Chelsea Art Society in September 2018. David is also a proud member of the Royal Society of British Artists  (RBA). Sawyer continues to aspire for further accomplishment both in his career of garnering professional recognition, and within his own skill set as a painter.

Thompson's Gallery recently sat down with David to learn more about the brilliantly talented painter, both in and outside of the studio. 

Above: Studio interior shot of David Sawyer's St Lizier workspace

Thompson's Gallery: Do you have any studio rituals or superstitions?

David Sawyer: I don't really have any rituals or superstitions in the studio or when i'm out painting(although I never set up under a ladder in case something mightdrop on me). I have an old print , a self portrait by Goya hanging in my studio in London , sometimes late at night if i'm painting , I think our gazes meet across the centuries & I wonder what he'd make of what I'm painting.

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TG: Does your process have any established pattern, ie sketching beforehand or resisting pattern in total?

DS: I tell all my students to make a drawing in their sketchbook before starting painting but I just want to get something on the canvas straightaway. I establish my area of interest with a reasonable rendering then fill in the dark areas with thin paint then working with thicker pigment through the midtones into the lights

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TG: Do you ever experience 'painters' block'? How do you overcome it?

DS: Some days obviously go better than others , but I never sit around "waiting for the muse to come upon me". If a painting is not going well I try to concentrate on one small part or passage , eg an ear or eye in a portrait , a window or doorway in an architectural picture, if I can get these small areas to work it lead me into the rest of the painting & open up my confidence. If this isn't working it probably means the muse is waiting in the pub!

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TG: What has been your favorite painting or subject to paint in the past year?

DS: I can't pin this down to one particular painting. At the moment i've been working on a large picture of the old theatre in Ally Pally (Alexandra Palace) part of the restoration project & the RBA. The past year or so i've got back into the liferoom & been doing some figure painting , I think getting out of my comfort zone throws up exciting challenges.

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TG: Artificial intelligence can now produce paintings, some of which sell to human buyers - what do you make of this?

DS: A bit like dancing bears or painting monkeys, there might be some novelty in it , but is it art on the same level as Titian , Velasquez , Rembrandt, Picasso, or Freud ? However if AI or computers began spontaneously making creative acts without programming or or other human intervention that could be interesting (but probably more frightening).

Above: Another glimpse from within the St Lizier studio of David Sawyer

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David Sawyer's exhibition opens at Thompson's Gallery London on Wednesday, 17th October (3 Seymour Place London W1H5AZ). For all questions and interest contact the gallery at enquiries@thompsonsgallery.co.uk or call +44(0)207 935 3595.