Andrew Fitchett's works explore the contemporary reality of our relationships with nature. In particular, he is fascinated by the many ways birds appropriate our human environments. This could involve a telegraph pole serving as the venue for a congregation, a railway signal providing a perch or a quiet roadside acting as a resting place for the dead.
"I am drawn to places and objects that give a strong sense of atmosphere," says Fitchett. "I am nosey about my surroundings, spending time looking up at rooftops, down wells and into dark corners."
Whilst always impressed with the exotic, Fitchett finds a great deal of beauty and inspiration in seemingly prosaic environments, particularly those found above eye-level. "I see rainy days as good days for walking and find wonder and beauty in the commonplace," he says. "I rarely travel to paint, finding more than enough thought provoking material on my doorstep."
Working from drawings made on location (sometimes as many as 20 or 30), Fitchett develops and constructs his paintings in the studio, often using stuffed specimens for accuracy of plumage when painting birds.
He generally paints on fine/medium weave canvas or linen using oil paints. "I experiment with brushes quite a bit," he says. "I often buy decorators brushes from DIY stores."
Having studied at Salisbury College of Art & Design during the early 1980s, Fitchett's career then led him from graphic design, illustration and advertising art direction to a role as creative director of one of the UK's first Internet providers. Throughout, his passion for birds expressed itself in painting, and wood and wire sculpture that he exhibited independently.
In the late 1990s, Andrew left the media industry to focus exclusively on his painting career, which includes teaching in adult education. Andrew's paintings are in private collections in the UK, Belgium, Germany and Canada.