The city has so many great stories to tell. I like to drive around the city, watch the changing light on buildings and the things people do. Some urban areas are crowded and busy while others are quiet and forgotten. At night lights appear and the city changes dramatically in mood and appearance. I feel the need to capture all these things in paint.
I have discovered that my paintings are more interesting when some imagination is added to the process. Firstly I turn scenes into drawings and then paint from those drawings creating my own lighting, people, animals, trees, skies, weather and waves along the way. A finished painting is a personal memory or a dream about a place. I only paint things that I like and my work is never a criticism of a place, it is more about the interesting character of things. Unusual or eccentric buildings appeal to me and often feature in my work. Some of my paintings are a record of the weather I see, the sun and rain make some amazing visual effects. I am constantly watching and remembering the effects of morning and afternoon sun, rain and shadows for future paintings.
Over the long history of painting everything has been explored. I never see anything that is completely new, but people will always love painting and for this reason it will never die. I can see Realism, Impressionism, Expressionism and Surrealism in my own work, but my subject matter is current, the things that are out there on the street right now. Some of my favourite artists from history include Edward Hopper, Pieter Bruegel and John Constable. Their paintings capture their surrounding landscapes and the life of the people so well, but their work also has a special imaginary look to it. They were masters of the painted story.
Robert Brownhall 2015