Duncan Wardlow

Originally from Cumbria, I now live and work from my home in Stocksfield, Northumberland.

I have painted – given up – painted and stopped – so many times that I have lost count, which has resulted in my creations changing many times over the years.

As a teenager I painted realistic pictures of British birds and since then I have experimented with different styles, paints, papers and brushes.

Once we turned the corner into this century, the 2000 years, I began to create abstract and geometric paintings. Was it something to do with an energy shift the planet was experiencing? It was such a different experience to be working in this way and I had to give up trying to figure out what it was all about. I accepted that work as part of the journey, even though it was a mystery to me.

Process of Creation

People often ask where the ideas for my artwork come from – and I have no real answer.

I could just say – ‘the ideas come from the universe and I create the paintings with acrylic paint, a brush and a palette knife’ – but I have the feeling that the art purists may not accept such a short and simple answer.

So, the answer is – When I commit myself to the process of creation and I step aside and focus on not overthinking or trying to interfere, the universe and creator gently guide me in the direction of a suggested idea.  My role is then to interpret these hints onto a sheet of wood pulp, formed into a smooth, flat receptive surface and for me to then introduce a multitude of colours in an acrylic medium, using a brush or a flexible metal knife which has a perfectly sculpted wooden handle, which I caress in my fingers and move across the surface in interconnecting directions while laying down differing layers of colour and texture.

My mind interprets a moment, into a thought, into an idea for a picture. My hand interprets that idea (not always successfully) and I transfer it onto paper.

Working with my picture framer, we discuss our interpretation of the best mount and frame to use for each individual picture before several different people will probably interpret it in many different ways.

If I can do it, I will.

Perceptions

As we grow and change, our perceptions can alter dramatically. When I was in my teens, I was not a fan of abstract or ‘modern’ art, to such a point that I wouldn’t spend any time looking at it or trying to understand it. This was a reflection of my lack of knowledge and inability to consider an alternative viewpoint.

As I have experienced more of this spinning lump of rock to which we are so precariously attached, I can at last see the bigger picture and appreciate the diversity of art which we are so fortunate to have access to.