Approved: 16.08.2006

Philip Watkins

Artist, Teacher

Approved: 16.08.2006

Concepts I am interested in townscapes and the urban environment, particularly seaside resorts or industrial sites/estates and parks - anywhere where human activity comes up against nature. I like to contrast the artificial patterns of the architecture with natural forms. Often the places that act as starting points for paintings have a particular personal meaning for me, sometimes they are just places I come across where I get a particular sort of feeling of desertion. These are places where all the fripperies and vanities disappear and you start to think - is this all there is? Sometimes they're the sorts of places where you think twice about parking your car. Thats why there are no figures in these paintings - you are there alone. Influences My influences are wider than one would think - a bit more than the obvious Hopper remark I get a lot of. I started painting and drawing because I wanted to be like George Stubbs - I saw a programme about him when I was a teenager. I read Memoirs of a Foxhunting Man by Sassoon when I was young and the last paragraph of that book has remained a big influence on me. 

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  • Location: Abergavenny, Wales
  • Artforms: Drawing , Mixed media , Painting
  • Tags: 2d, acrylic, townscape, 3d object, acrylioc, painting, urban., cardiff, urban, wales, oils, calvin harris., ink, chance., inks
 
 

Biography

Concepts I am interested in townscapes and the urban environment, particularly seaside resorts or industrial sites/estates and parks - anywhere where human activity comes up against nature. I like to contrast the artificial patterns of the architecture with natural forms. Often the places that act as starting points for paintings have a particular personal meaning for me, sometimes they are just places I come across where I get a particular sort of feeling of desertion. These are places where all the fripperies and vanities disappear and you start to think - is this all there is? Sometimes they're the sorts of places where you think twice about parking your car. Thats why there are no figures in these paintings - you are there alone. Influences My influences are wider than one would think - a bit more than the obvious Hopper remark I get a lot of. I started painting and drawing because I wanted to be like George Stubbs - I saw a programme about him when I was a teenager. I read Memoirs of a Foxhunting Man by Sassoon when I was young and the last paragraph of that book has remained a big influence on me. 

 'Somewhere out of sight beyond the splintered tree-tops of Hidden Wood a bird had begun to sing. Without knowing why, I remembered that it was Easter Sunday. Standing in that dismal ditch, I could find no consolation in the thought that Christ was risen. I sploshed back to the dug-out to call the others up for stand-to'.                                                                       

I left Newport Art College in 1977 with a degree in Fine Art. I've painted ever since, though sometimes the jobs I've taken to pay the bills have taken over for a time (I spent 12 years in animation - winning a BAFTA and an EMMY as part of the Siriol Animation Team). I also taught drawing to young offenders and worked for seven years as a full-time youth worker on some of Cardiff's peripheral housing estates.Talking to young people in the drizzle of a February evening on some council estate has been an influence. In 2002 I stopped work to paint full time, though I still teach a few Adult Education classes.

CV & Education

Solo exhibitions 2009 - A Difference of Hours, Coron Gallery, San Francisco 2009 - Another Time, Another Place, Llanover Hall Arts Centre, Cardiff 2008 - Missing Person, Washington Gallery, Penarth (Cardiff) 2006 - The Distant Sound of an Ice-Cream Van, Bianco Nero Gallery, Stokesley, North Yorks. 2004 - Focal 2004, Ruthin 2003 - You are here, Washington Gallery, Penarth 1992 - Philip Watkins (part of Welsh Arts, Moving Pictures), Cwmbran, Gwent.

Group exhibitions :-2016/2017, 'City Stories', Mission Gallery, Swansea. 2016, 'Nonarchy', MadeinRoath, Cardiff. 2016, 'Nonarchy', Undegun, Wrexham. 2015, Welshcape, Kickplate Gallery, Abertillery. 2015, Welshscape, St. Donats Art Centre. 2014 Solve Et Coagula, Abacus Gallery, Cardiff, 2013 Gaeaf, St. David's Hall, Cardiff, 2012 - BEEP. Through Tomorrow's Eyes-Welsh International Painting Prize Exhibition, Elysium Artspaces, Volcano Theatre, Swansea. 2012 - Painting Wales, New Leaf Gallery, Monmouth 2011 - St.David's Hall Christmas Exhibition, Cardiff., St. David's Hall, Cardiff 2006 - Gallery Redbill, Shotton, Flint 2006 - 'Keepers of the Flame' The South Wales Painting Tradition, Oriel Washington Gallery, Penarth 2006 - Sefton Open, Atkinson Gallery, Southport 2005 - 'A Rare Chance To See...', Washington Gallery, Penarth 2003 - National Eisteddfod of Wales, Meifod 2002 - Animalia, Renaissance Gallery, Kemeys Commander, USK 2002 - First Anniversary Exhibition, The Hunter Gallery, Long Melford, Suffolk 2002 - The Horse in Art, Obsidian Art Gallery, Stoke Mandeville 2002 - Washington Gallery, Penarth 1994 - Art and the Racecourse, Osborne Studio Gallery, London 1994 - Save Tower Colliery, Rhondda 1989 - White Horse, Studio Exhibition, Art Approach, Chepstow 1978 - Three man show, Sherman Theatre, Cardiff