PAUL KENTON

Quay Gallery


Paul showed an interest in painting from an early age; while others wanted to be doctors or pilots he clearly remembers telling a friend that he wanted to be an artist. This was cemented when, at the tender age of twelve, he won a national colouring competition - winning a prized set of paints. He continued to draw and paint all through school becoming proficient in watercolour but was disappointed not to be awarded a place at Art College due to his English grades.

In 1995, supported by a grant from the Prices Youth Business Trust, he took the plunge and started to paint full-time and began exhibiting. Working in acrylic and oils he took inspiration from his world wide travels; the cityscapes, cafes, harbours, bridges and seascapes. Kenton's style has evolved over the past ten years into a free-flowing fusion of various media, capturing the essence of the location rather than "the fiddly details of what something looks like" creating an atmosphere with free shapes, dripped lines and colour.
   
The recurring themes of reflection and movement frequently appear in my new work. Equally I love capturing scenes late in the day and into the early evening due to the last drops of warming light filling every available surface. My Cityscapes reflect the many moods of manmade landscapes; I find it exhilarating to express furious movement, artificial lights and the vibrancy of a busy City centre at night as well as the subtler moods of a misty dawn at the same venue.

I don't sketch anything out; instead I simply dive in feet first with huge brushes dipped into large pots of paint and drip on an outline before throwing the paint on. I love the freedom and am so pleased with the effects of this technique. I build up each layer with broad brushstrokes and drip colour to create form until I can sense the atmosphere I want. To keep the piece fresh I try and stop before it gets too fussy.
 
I love the freshness of mornings, this is when I plan my day and start to think about the piece I'm working on or develop some fresh ideas. I have a small studio in what used to be a railway building, where I can escape and really concentrate on my latest piece. I paint most days and try to discipline myself to regular hours but it doesn't always work out that way. The studio does have a music system but it doesn't seem to affect my paintings whether I listen to music, the news or a play on radio four; sometimes silence is nice.