David Watmough was born in Lincolnshire where he spent the early part of his career. In 1972 he moved to London to study at the Slade School of Fine Art, London. This period of study, lasting four years, became the foundations of his work and interest in the Euston Road School, founded in 1937, by William Coldstream. (1908 - 1987)
Just as former Slade students, Graham Bell (1910 - 1943) and Lawrence Gowing (1918-1991) where attracted to William Coldstream, David Watmough found himself interested in his philosophies and the Euston Road School. Coldstream's approach to allowing a drawing to gradually accrue particularly interested him, and over the years has become fundamental to Watmough's work, and responsible for a selective catalogue of exhibitions. Some of David's pencil on paper works taking months to complete, with "each work being built up very slowly, sometimes over several months." Says David.
The Coldstream approach encouraged pupils to, 'keep their eyes on what they saw', without being moved by theory or influenced by the School of Paris - the French had invented Impressionism, Cubism, Fauvism, and almost every artist of the time wanted to go to the French capital. The desire to reflect everyday life, to keep his eye focused on the world around him, has been a driving force, and is acutely evident throughout all of David Watmough's work. Both his pencil works on paper and his paintings on canvas seem to seek truth, if not expose honesty - "to reveal the poetry and depth of meaning in everyday appearances." He adds. David Watmough's work fundamentally creates a conflicting sense of strength and fragility which can only arrest our attention and touch our hearts.
While David Watmough's approach to his work very definitely has its roots in the Coldstream School of thought, his determination to become a master of his craft has also led him to study the work of George Studds (English Romantic Painter, 1724-1806) Edvard Munch (Norwegian Symbolist/Expressionist Painter, 1863-1944) and Rembrant (Dutch Baroque painter and engraver painter 1606-1669) "I recently made a 'pilgrimage' to Horkstow in Lincolnshire where Stubbs completed his 'Anatomy of the Horse' drawings" Says David. Watmough's approach to painting is to study, to look, to question and learn, to leap into the unknown with one hundred percent back up. The knowledge and technique David Watmough has acquired, in a career spanning over 30 years has become an anchor rather than a dead weight, and with each new work his creativity enlightens.
For those of us that want more than a mere representation of nature or a pretty portrait of ourselves or a loved one, David Watmough's sensitive and intricate works, both arresting and engaging exceed our expectations . "I believe that a picture can make a difference to a person's life - particularly a hand made image." Says David - and in him and his work we believe too.
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