John Virtue: The Sea
17 January – 12 April 2015
A new body of work by the British painter, including nine canvases, 25 paintings and 70 sketchbooks all produced over the last three years.
In this series, Virtue applies paint freely to the raw canvas surface with brushes, hands and rags. He works solely in black and white paint, ink and shellac having abandoned colour, which he considers to be a distraction.
Although he trained at the Slade School of Art, London from 1965 to 1969, Virtue spent the years after graduating working as a postman. It wasn't until the 1980s he decide to devote himself entirely to art. He has always used the landscape where he lives as subject matter, from the moorland in North East Lancashire to the coast of South Devon.
While on a trip to Norfolk, Virtue went walking at Blakeney Point. Mesmerised by the panorama of salt marshes and shingle beaches he decided he would move to the area – despite the fact he was already living in Italy at the time. Now the artist returns to draw here on a daily basis and 70 sketchbooks filled with Blakeney seascapes are on display in this show.