I painted for the first time in 1997. I was sixteen years old, and incredibly lucky to have Rick Weaver (whom I will touch on in a future post) as my teacher. He is an excellent educator and an incredibly talented artist. Rick taught me about color and form and light and shadow. He also introduced me to the work of Euan Uglow, an artist who's strong, elegant, and clean work reminds me daily of why I paint.
Uglow was born in the early 1930s and was a part of the 20th Century British Realist Painters school who's members include such extraordinary names as Lucian Freud, William Coldstream, David Hockney, Frank Auerbach, Francis Bacon, Peter Blake, R.B. Kitaj, and Leon Kossoff.
He taught at Slade School of Art until his death in 2000 and is best known for his work in the figure. His compositions are ostensibly simple, but belie a complex geometry. Planes are articulated precisely, edges are sharply defined, and colors are differentiated with great subtlety.
His method of painting was meticulous and his paintings took months and often years to complete. The surfaces of his paintings are checkered with many small horizontal and vertical markings. These are the remnants of plum lines, the coordinates he used to verify two dimensional relationships against against three dimensional reality.
Among the artists most influential to Uglow are Matisse, the Venetians, Cezanne, Poussin, and Ingres.
All images copyright Euan Uglow.