Q&A with David Rowe

‘Art doesn’t always have to be perfect; each piece tells its own story. Be it through sight, sound or touch, art is there to evoke conversation & to be enjoyed.’

This month dot-art catches up with local artist David Rowe, whose long-standing history with painting has led him to become an expert in all things colour. Working as a painter and decorator for most of his life, David’s world has focused around a painterly aesthetic, but what led his brush off the wall and on to the canvas?

Which medium do you work with and what do you like about it specifically?

Acrylic is my preferred medium. I like the way acrylic dries quickly, which allows me to build and develop colours loosely.

Describe your style of art:

My artwork is contemporary, abstract and bursting with colour.

Can you talk us through your process? Do you begin with a sketch, or do you just go straight in? How long do you spend on one piece? How do you know when it is finished?

Strangely I never do preliminary sketches, I just dive in! I choose a range of colours & randomly spread them across the surface. As I add each colour to the canvas the painting begins to reveal itself, my imagination runs and I can envision how the painting will develop and what it will become. 

Time spent on each painting varies, sometimes it can take days, sometimes much longer. I can become so engrossed in the process that when I come back to a painting after a few days I often decide to totally change direction and it becomes a whole new work! I only know when a painting is finished when I finally decide to sign it.

When did you begin your career in art? 

I’ve been interested in art since I was a schoolboy, but only started painting on canvas in my mid 40’s. Being a decorator all of my working life I’ve come across plenty of artworks hanging in peoples homes, offices, public buildings and so on. 

I’ve been fortunate enough to decorate care environments, working regularly with dementia care. This enabled me to express myself and share my creativity with others, every colour scheme and creative choice was tailored especially for residents to enjoy. I eventually started doing mural work for clients from which I started to take more interest in fine art painting, moving away from the wall and on to the canvas. 

Who or what inspires your art? 

My Uncle Tommy inspired me and got me interested in art, I remember visiting his flat after he tragically passed away in the 70s. I was in awe as I gazed up at his art on the walls. I’m glad to say I’ve got one of his unfinished pieces at home which I continue to look at with absolute amazement. 

What is one of your favourite pieces that you have done and why? 

My favourite piece was a portrait I did of Bill Shankly many moons ago. I don’t really do portraits, but I was so pleased with it that I kept it to hang in my hallway!

What are you working on at the moment? 

Funnily enough, I’m decorating my own house whilst I’m furloughed from work. Whilst keeping me busy, it also gives me a chance to sort through some of my artwork to hang on the walls.

What’s your most unusual artistic habit/strangest technique which you have learnt?

Over the years I’ve learnt that you can use anything to make art.

What are your favourite things to listen to whilst painting? If anything! 

I just love the peace and quiet of painting.

Browse David Rowe’s original artworks via our online shop!