Having developed their varying styles over many years, two accomplished Yorkshire artists –Paul Talbot Greaves and Clare Haley – have been brought together for the first time in a dynamic and vastly contrasting landscape exhibition at the Harrison Lord Gallery in Brighouse.
Halifax resident Paul Talbot – Greaves trained at Art College in the 1980s, and afterwards worked as a graphic artist within the printing industry. He gradually built up a repertoire over the years as a landscape painter and finally turned to painting full time in 1998. More often than not Paul works purely with watercolour; “I love the free flowing paint effects and the way the pigment can be manipulated on paper with amazing energy.”
Paul has enjoyed a great success in the commercial art world. Among his many accolades he was elected as a companion of the International Guild of Artists and an Associate of the British Watercolour Society. He was made a Professional Associate of the Society for All Artists in 1997 and in 2002 was elected as President of the Halifax Art Society. In 2003 he was made an advisory panellist for the SAA and Artists and Illustrators magazine.
Yorkshire born Clare Haley first started selling paintings around her job within the commercial design industry at Hallmark Cards in design but always yearned for a career as a professional painter.
Finally in 2010 Clare submitted a painting for a local Art week event to re-ignite the fire and pick-up her brushes again — although the initial painting planned for submission never made it into the event. “I needed to frame the painting and knew The Harrison Lord Gallery in Brighouse had an excellent framing service so took the painting in. Gallery owner Steven Lord liked the painting so much he persuaded me to keep it for the gallery and within a few weeks it was sold.” This caused a reaction so strong within her, it was enough to return to a career as a professional painter and Clare handed in her notice the following week.
“Oil paint is my perfect medium – I love the way it can be manipulated.” Clare begins by simply sketching onto the primed board with a brush, sometimes going straight in with the sky, the land being directed later by the light and shadow from above. “It depends of the ‘feel’ of the image I have in mind which is personally hard to explain how the painting evolves from this.”
Whilst both artists differ with regards to their techniques, they mutually surrender to their love of the landscape; “I paint landscapes because I am a walker and mountain biker” says Paul “naturally I gain most of my inspiration when I’m outdoors. I love mountains and moors and the historical links that weave through them.” Still drawing on his graphic training Paul finds inspiration in strong design, and looks out for patterns of shape and tone, colour, light and line. “It can be anything so long as the overall design is colourful and punchy. I see my work as an impressionistic, loose interpretation of the landscape and recently I have been including some exciting visual textures through layers of loose watercolour applications.”
Clare Haley’s approach to the landscape is timeless, and a cloudless sky holds no inspiration to pick up a brush and paint; “Clouds hold the key to the drama of the painting, controlling light bursts, muted illumination, and deep shadow.”
Ever since her first visit to the National Gallery Clare succumbed to the arresting qualities of works from of John Martin, Turner and Constable, “I love the dramatic atmosphere a landscape painting can evoke at first glance”. Her continued devotion for the weathered, northern landscape remains to inspire paintings from which vast, wild skies create spectrums of light and mood and the impending exhibition is no exception.
Paul has cultivated a large following throughout his career and fans of his work will be eager to see his latest pieces in this unique collaboration. “I’m really excited to be showing alongside Clare as I think our work evokes different reactions to the landscape around us and this will hopefully provoke all the senses of those who come to the show. I feel it is important that artists constantly develop and change their work through time. In the industry I think they call it progress.”
The landscape exhibition featuring Yorkshire artists Paul Talbot – Greaves and Clare Haley opens at the Harrison Lord Gallery on Saturday 3rd November. Visit www.harrisonlord.co.uk for more details. Harrison Lord Gallery, 5 Bradford Rd, Brighouse, HD6 1RW, tel. 01484 722462.