Simon Wright - Painting Memories

September 17, 2020

Simon Wright - Painting Memories

CITYSCAPE LIGHTS

As the flagship gallery of Simon Wright art, Wyecliffe Galleries joins Simon Wright in his studio to talk about his creative process and finding out first-hand how he creates his incredible cityscapes.

As the flagship gallery for Simon Wright's artwork, Wyecliffe Galleries joins Simon Wright in his studio to talk about his creative process; finding out first-hand how he creates his incredible cityscapes.


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THE BALANCE


"When I think of different cities, I think of Paris as a dreamy place due to its architecture, Amsterdam (to me) is quirky because the buildings are crooked, whereas New York is very straight, structured and hard. When I approach a painting I try and put an element of that into it. It comes down to balancing the feel of a painting/location with the focal point of the city."

- Simon Wright

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When painting structures like the Manhattan bridge in his original artwork 'Manhattan', Simon will convey the harshness of the metal and industrial nature of the setting with straight lines and lots of contrasting texture. Whereas for softer more dreamy places like that in the artwork 'Pink City' he utilises less defined edges with less contrast. All the while his amazing painting style shines through in each and every piece.

"By having a focal point like the Eiffel Tower or Westminster, I'm trying to have the viewer know instantly where is in the world, but I don't want it to be the dominant aspect of the piece. I want the painting to speak for itself and the feeling of the location portrayed in the scene around the landmark."

- Simon Wright
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"The more colours you have on a pallet the more muddy & messy it can get, it's about streamlining your palette. I try to keep consistency in the colours I use so, along with the style and subject matter, my work is recognisable."

- Simon Wright

"By having a focal point like the Eiffel Tower or Westminster, I'm trying to have the viewer know instantly where is in the world, but I don't want it to be the dominant aspect of the piece. I want the painting to speak for itself and the feeling of the location portrayed in the scene around the landmark."

- Simon Wright

"The more colours you have on a pallet the more muddy & messy it can get, it's about streamlining your palette. I try to keep consistency in the colours I use so, along with the style and subject matter, my work is recognisable."

- Simon Wright

UNDERPAINTING


After applying a base colour and roughly marking out the scene Simon applies shades of grey to underpaint the piece. This stage is not focused on detail at all, but rather blocking out the sky, larger areas of light and the basic structures, setting the tone of the painting and creating reference marks for the next stages of his process.

"First and foremost be be true to yourself, don't paint to please others. Paint with what you're happy with and what you think is good. Stick by your guns."

- Simon Wright
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"First and foremost be be true to yourself, don't paint to please others. Paint with what you're happy with and what you think is good. Stick by your guns."

- Simon Wright

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LINE PAINTING


Using a steady stream of paint dribbled from a wooden implement (a wand so to speak), Simon outlines the shapes created by the underpainting. This further helps define the structures and starts to define the main focus points of the artwork. Once dry, the lines of paint add depth and texture, elevating it from a flat two-dimensional image.

"Imagine if you were put in the middle of a street in London or New York, the first things you see are the architecture and the lights, you wouldn't perhaps see the fire hydrants or individual people. When you remember places the detail become hazy, only a suggestion of what was there, but the iconic structures, atmosphere and colours are clearer."

- Simon Wright

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CREATING DEPTH


Simon then starts using washes of colours to balance the defined lines that outline the scene. These can be layered to create depth with the aid of the raised areas of the now dried outlines. The colours interact differently with this texture that it does with the flatter surface of the canvas, further shaping the scene. It is at this stage that Simon also starts figuring out the light source for the scene, creating the shadows and highlights to bring out the depth and determine the energy of the work.

He will layer more drizzled lines over the colour and tonal washes, going back and forth between these techniques to add complexity and take the viewer on a journey into the scene, evoking the dream-like impression he seeks to reproduce.

Simon will work on multiple paintings at a time, perhaps 7-8 of them, allowing a fresh outlook on the direction it needs to go while also allowing the layers to dry.
Simon then starts using washes of colours to balance the defined lines that outline the scene. These can be layered to create depth with the aid of the raised areas of the now dried outlines. The colours interact differently with this texture that it does with the flatter surface of the canvas, further shaping the scene. It is at this stage that Simon also starts figuring out the light source for the scene, creating the shadows and highlights to bring out the depth and determine the energy of the work. He will layer more drizzled lines over the colour and tonal washes, going back and forth between these techniques to add complexity and take the viewer on a journey into the scene, evoking the dream-like impression he seeks to reproduce. Simon will work on multiple paintings at a time, perhaps 7-8 of them, allowing a fresh outlook on the direction it needs to go while also allowing the layers to dry.
https://wyecliffe.com/collections/simon-wright-art/products/the-duomo-simon-wright

"I don't want the raised lines to be dominant in the painting, but on the flip-side I don't want the colour and shading to be dominant. So it now becomes a battle so-to-speak between the two aspects."

- Simon Wright

"I don't want the raised lines to be dominant in the painting, but on the flip-side I don't want the colour and shading to be dominant. So it now becomes a battle so-to-speak between the two aspects."

- Simon Wright
https://wyecliffe.com/collections/simon-wright-art/products/the-duomo-simon-wright

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"I'll start adding colour in washes to try and knock 'the dribble' back and define the structure. I won't know how much longer it has to go before it's done until i get there. It's all about balancing the elements in the painting."

- Simon Wright

"I won't work on smaller section of the board as I find it can create inconsistencies, I work on it as a whole adding where I feel it needs it or what stands out to me immediately, it all has to work together."

- Simon Wright

"I won't work on smaller section of the board as I find it can create inconsistencies, I work on it as a whole adding where I feel it needs it or what stands out to me immediately, it all has to work together."

- Simon Wright

"I won't know how much longer it has to go before it's done until i get there. It's all about balancing the elements in the painting."

- Simon Wright


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