Jonathan is a self-taught painter based in the Yorkshire Dales. He paints exclusively in oils and focusses on Yorkshire and Northumberland landscapes. His techniques very according to subject matter but the fragile beauty of light is of great interest as he feels it can turn everything into something worth seeing. To do this, Jonathan uses a self-made medium to thin the oil paint down into the consistency of watercolour. This is then applied in layer after layer to create a sense of enveloping atmosphere and light, in which the motifs of the work can sit.
Born in 1974, Jonathan attended Ripon Grammar School where Art was one of his favoured subjects, although this was the last time he would receive any formal training. After years as a hobby painter he turned semi-professional in 2019. Since then he has held several exhibitions in the Yorkshire region including Doncaster, Ilkley, Harrogate and Skipton and Leeds. His work is held in private collections throughout the UK and the USA.
His main influences are the 19th century English Romantic painters, the French Barbizon School and the Russian Itinerants. These schools of art draw inspiration directly from nature and sought to capture the beauty of the everyday in the landscapes around them. Jonathan follows this tradition but adds to it the concept of “memory painting”, as espoused by the American artist John F. Carlson. Once he has found a scene or motif that inspires, he will sketch and photograph it. This source material is then used to outline the final composition in the studio but is then largely abandoned. From this point on, the painting is done largely from memory in the attempt to convey his own feelings directly to the viewer through the painting. His main focus is to try and eke out the beauty of nature from his surroundings, to show how beauty exists all around us – a concept that is so important in this urbanised and detached society.
Jonathan lives with his wife and aged dog in Otley.