Residency : Patrick Butterworth - June, 2011
In the back of the Connect studios stands Patrick Butterworth. He is working on a small painting, a dramatic landscape with rays of light peering through the clouds over the mountains. The subtle greys and greens are identical to the ones in the photograph he is using for reference, showing his eye for detail and the extent of his skills.
Seeing Patrick’s work, it is hard to believe he is not an academically trained artist. “I am self-taught. I have always drawn, I’ve always been interested in it. I usually work at home, using pencils or pastels, filling sketchbooks. I’ve experimented over the years, and that’s how I learned. I guess I’ve always had an eye for details.”
Patrick Butterworth is no stranger to Connect, he has been coming here for almost two years now. “The first day I came here, I hadn’t been using oil in a long time, years. I found it interesting , it made me wonder why I stopped!” He laughs. “They can be costly and difficult to work with at home so being here helps. I now mostly work with oil when I’m here. It gives me a place to work, to meet people, I feel like I have made a few friends.”
Why apply for the residency then? “I wanted to get an idea of what other people’s work was. I wanted to spend more time around other people, be involved. I have been amazed by some of the work I’ve seen." The same can be said of other people’s responses to Patrick’s paintings. “People come up to me, ask me questions about colours, comment on my work. It’s been helpful; a good exchange with people helps me learn.”
Patrick’s paintings, which vary greatly in content, often represent images from magazines, and have certain similarities: the artist always keeps a border on the side of the canvas. “It makes you look at the image more, it frames it. It also references the photograph.” Why pick these images in particular? “I just pick something I respond to, a landscape, a face... I don’t want to copy other artists’ work so that’s why I paint from photographs, from magazines or members of my family.”
“I didn’t have a plan before the residency, I just knew I wanted to paint with oil. Paintings happen as they happen. I picked stuff at random. I’ve only produced two paintings, but I don’t want to rush them. If you rush, the quality suffers.”
Did you enjoy the residency? “Time passes very quickly, it was a very quick month. It was great coming here every day, I would sleep here, if I could! It was very interesting, I really enjoyed being in an environment with feedback. I want to thank the staff for their advices, for helping me out.”
And on these words, Patrick Butterworth goes back to his beautiful landscape.
Patrick has exhibited previously with Gallery in the Corner in Edinburgh, and will be in Platform as part of the ‘Film Noir’ group show this summer. The work produced during the residency will be exhibited in the Project Ability gallery, alongside the other artists in residence, in January 2012.
Images: Work in progress / painter's palette / Lil' Dolly Dolittle
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