The human figure has always been Garry’s main source of inspiration. He says his creative mind is always at play through the course of a day, taking in ideas for textures, marks and tones to play with and marry them with the human form. Glimpses of people from a film might inspire, or the back of somebody’s head whilst standing in a queue. They become paintings.…as he asks the person he’s come across of they would mind a photo being taken…to be worked up in his studio and turned into one of his studies. He sometimes uses his computer as the canvas too, in the early stages of a work. Using Photoshop, he can experiment with multiple layers, play with composition and colour, and craft an image he can then take to the next stage.
His affinity with birds has also come to the fore over the last few years. From a young age, birds have held an interest, in all their diverse forms and colours, and so seemed a natural choice to start painting. Sometimes perched on the head of a young lady…or maybe a seal staring at us from the sea, they are characterful additions with their own personalities. Beautiful as a simple study, or used almost as an extension of the spirit of the person they adorn, they are a growing subject area for him.
Garry’s never been an artist who sticks to one style. He says when he works, his paintings take on their own life and he pulls on his repertoire of techniques and colour ways to bring the image together. This isn’t always successful…but as he works fast, he can overpaint and explore some other avenues to hopefully get to a result he’s happy with. Changing techniques also keeps him interested and continually excited about what he’s producing. From the process of experimentation, wonderful accidents happen and can then be added to his stock to use on other images.
He’s currently using a lot of gold leaf and is trying to find new ways to apply it. He builds up textures with layers of gesso and gilding glue before applying the gold…and then plays on the surface, adding and removing paint to enhance the overall effect even further. Everything is then sealed with layers of varnish to protect and unify the overall finished appearance.
For some, it’s a landscape painting that takes hold of their imagination and gives them lasting pleasure hung in their home. For Garry, a human connection takes him even further. We sometimes see ourselves through the figure on the canvas and get lost in their story. We conjure up a connection from our own experiences and are transported to that place – to escape for as long as we want.