Artist's lockdown landscapes to go on show at The Witham
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
A DALE artist who picked up his brushes in lockdown after a ten-year gap is to show the results of his work at an exhibition in Barnard Castle.
Simon Pell’s 2020 Vision – Lockdown Paintings will open at The Witham to coincide with the planned further easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
Mr Pell trained in fine art at the Slade, in London, becoming a scene painter at the National Theatre and working on West End musicals including Cats, Les Miserables, and Starlight Express.
Having moved north, he is the theatre technician at Middlesbrough College, where he also set design and painting.
He describes he art as “Marmite paintings” and says people will either love them or hate them.
His semi-abstract landscape paintings are highly colourful.
They are based on photos he has snapped when walking and adventuring on Teesdale’s hills and fells – a landscape he has lived in and explored for more than 30 years.
At home in his studio in Barnard Castle, he processes these photographs using Microsoft Paintshop to compose the picture and experiment with colour.
He begins every painting by gridding-up and drawing (with a glue gun) the design on to the canvas.
He then builds up layers of acrylic paint with brush and palette knife while also employing spatter, splash, dribble, glazes and dry-brush techniques.
The final act is to peel off the glue, which exposes raw canvas underneath and the lines are then painted in to complete the work.
His exhibition opens on Wednesday, May 19 and continued to Saturday, June 12.
Admission is free during opening hours at The Witham.