I was born in Castel on the island of Guernsey and moved to the UK mainland in 1954. I settled in the north and feel very much a Yorkshire man, living and working in Calderdale. Even though I attended Bradford College of Art as a mature student and gained a BA (Hons) in Fine Art, I do not feel I gained much benefit from the three years of study in fine art discipline. Therefore I consider myself as a self-taught artist with 40 years’ experience.
I develop my work with feeling and a true emotional response to the subject which calls for persistence as the work goes beyond the formal representation. I develop the painting continually, reworking it over a number of weeks or months until something begins to emerge and I find that ‘new painting’ appear. This procedure is worth getting up for and going to the studio every day!
In my early days I made copies of well-known paintings from books and visits to art galleries to learn the craft of painting and drawing in an academic manner. During the mid 70’s and 80’s my development as a painter centred on copying the old masters such as Rubens, Titian, Constable, Turner and others. During the mid 80’s I found great inspiration after coming into contact with the Impressionists, and so began going outdoors to paint. I eventually moved away from Impressionism and found that painting in an expressive manner enabled me to paint with feeling and to be more involved with both the subject and the paint.
My main inspiration comes from my immediate location around West Yorkshire particularly Calderdale where I live. I do enjoy the populated landscape; however, the subject is not the most important aspect of painting for me. Instead it’s about the making of a painting. I don’t look for the picturesque, even a mundane scene could be the most stimulating to me as a subject to paint.
I usually work from sketches and use photographs as a general guide for colour, though colour and tone can change while work develops. I work wet in wet most of the time with quite heavy impasto working quite quickly. I use a kitchen knife, brushes and fingers. The knife cuts through and into the paint which adds another dimension to the visual language. I work on canvas, cardboard and hardboard most of the time. The hardboard is pinned and glued to battens and I usually apply an off-white ground to the support. I also enjoy making various kinds of sculpture work and woodblock prints.
What I try to convey is a sense of movement, energy and life in all my paintings to create something pleasing to the eye, though ultimately I just paint for the sheer joy of painting.
Barry De More