Andrew Sales West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Andrew is a practising artist working in the north of England. He completed is BA Hons at Loughborough University in 2015 and completed a MA in Creative practice at Leeds Arts University in 2019. Andrew works primarily in oil paints and has exhibited in London, Leeds, Newcastle, Loughborough and Leicester amongst others.
My subject matter is flexible but my style utilises the figurative and representational forms in painting. I draw a lot of my ideas from historical painting mixed in with my own experiences as I add specific personal thoughts and invented myths to the image. I like my paintings to work individually, or as a limited series of paintings that communicate their own unique message or conceptual thread.
My practice seeks to play with the traditional norms of landscape and figurative painting and use it as a vessel to convey ideas and thoughts, from both direct observation and my own personal interpretation and imagination. I want to take representational painting away from its regularities and use it in a more conceptually abstract and philosophical way, to communicate ideas of any scale through experimentation and the subversion of traditional associated imagery and preconceived expectations.
Instead of concentrating my subject matter to a narrow lens I am always keen to change its discourse, concept or theme, keeping my practice in constant development. Each painting is made to communicate its own associated idea or message with the viewer and to do this in the most moving and potentially serendipitous way possible. I aim for the paintings to have a direct and engaging concept yet paradoxically try to balance this with ambiguity and unease in order to allow a viewer to bring their own experience to the work. I think the audience’s search for meaning in the picture will open doors into their own thoughts and personal visual library, that in turn, may provide some emotional experience for them due to seeing the work.
I always look to achieve a harmony between colour, composition and concept with each painting. Going so far as to making the shape and dimensions of the wooden panels I use and the type of frame relate to the concept and themes of that particular painting. I don't want to throw in ideas together but to let every part of the image relate to and amplify the cryptic message or narrative I am using as a concept. In the early stages this means allowing certain symbols and metaphors associated with the central idea to be discovered and harmonised as the final painting is planned out.
Much of my work is intended to be allegorical, as I create archetypal characters and imagined landscapes that interact with each other, expressing an alternate narrative disguised within a set of imagined rules and aesthetic pictorial judgments. I observe very few physical objects or spaces to create paintings but appropriate digital reproductions of historic painting and images offered by film and literature. My painting process both reflects and utilizes the media saturated world we live in today to make handmade, concentrated images that are ironically, the material antithesis of the media that inspired them.
My studio practice consists of using traditional academic oil painting methods with respect but also subverting and playing with them. Prioritising the harmony of the composition and colour with the associated themes and message of the painting. I try to be adventurous in my methods and constantly look to improve my process from the conceptual and developmental stages of each painting, through to the execution and final polished piece. I'm very interested in the materiality of paint through my application to the surface and its fluidity, experimenting with various textures, layers and glazes as appropriate to achieve the maximum effects. My technique requires strong under drawing, the use of glazes, scumbles and altering fluidity through thick and thin layers as appropriate to the object I am painting. I'm well aware of historic painting techniques and see my own method as an appropriation of academic painting mixed with various other influences in brushwork and colour from both contemporary and historic painters.