Richard Rowan | Twilight

R I C H A R D R OWA N

Twilight (noun)

A soft, luminous light created when the sun is below the horizon and Earth’s surface is neither completely lit nor completely dark.

Synonymous with the witching hour, twilight is a fleeting glimpse of tranquillity when things are not quite as they seem. This ethereal crossover between light and dark, night and day, is captured by oil painter Richard Rowan in his powerful new collection, Twilight. From the fiery horizons of Thailand to the proud roots of the British landscape, the magic of the folkloric ‘blue hour’ is brought to life. Taken from the French l’heure bleue , it describes the elusive 10-minute window for photographers to capture the moment just before or after the sun appears. Richard explains: “With it comes the promise of times ahead. It’s about waiting for the clouds to pass, the colours to form and the sun to rise or set. It’s an awe and beauty we all take for granted.” To recreate the vivid hues, Richard used two different oil paints and his own chemical formula, with timing crucial for blending and applying layers. The colours are more radiant on glass than when they are first squeezed from the tube, as the medium adds its own refractive luminosity. Richard says: “I wanted to study the visually-striking display created by indirect sunlight tinting the sky. With glass naturally responding to changes in light, the paintings will continue to evolve over time.” Glowing beneath each artwork is a story and musical soundscape. To get himself into the mindset of each piece, Richard listened to a specific song. The Twilight soundtrack features Italian composer Ludovico Enaudi and songs from Hollywood films including The Last Samurai and The Theory of Everything , evoking a different mood for each painting. Also revealed is an intimate glimpse into Richard’s family life; the father-of-two has represented his family through nature and depicted their travels to foreign lands. For those of us with no window to view the beauty of the world, the collection is a time-lapse of the glorious spectrum of Mother Nature and a reminder to stop and reflect every once in a while. Richard adds: “Beautiful, intriguing and occasionally eerie, twilight evokes special memories and emotions. This collection hopes to emphasise the power of our planet and explore that feeling of our home being so small within the universe, our ceiling ever-changing.”

A R I V E R ’ S TA L E IMAGE SIZE 34CM X 34CM // FRAMED SIZE 61CM X 61CM GICLÉE PRINT ON GLASS OF 195 // FRAMED £595

Location: Surrey Music: ‘The River’, Ryan Amon, The Sketchbook

“As you get deeper into twilight, the world appears darker and darker. I tried to capture this within the golden reflections in the water.”

NOT L E T T I NG GO IMAGE SIZE 34CM X 34CM // FRAMED SIZE 61CM X 61CM GICLÉE PRINT ON GLASS OF 195 // FRAMED £595

Location: Surrey Music: ‘A Hard Teacher’, Hans Zimmer, The Last Samurai

“Here I capture the sunset and the subtleties and softness of twilight, focusing on the smallest colour changes in the water. It’s the time of day when the water appears to transform into polished metal.”

FOCU S ON T H E L I GH T

IMAGE SIZE 61CM X 61CM // FRAMED SIZE 88CM X 88CM GICLÉE PRINT ON GLASS OF 195 // FRAMED £895

Location: Surrey Music: ‘The Origins of Time’, Jóhann Jóhannsson, The Theory of Everything

“Taken on a misty, ethereal morning, this image was technically difficult to paint. I almost lost this artwork whilst trying to get the gradient of the colour between each segment of the trees to work.”

N E V E R G I V E U P IMAGE SIZE 61CM X 61CM // FRAMED SIZE 88CM X 88CM GICLÉE PRINT ON GLASS OF 195 // FRAMED £895

Location: Surrey Music: ‘Berlin Song’, Ludovico Enaudi

“Our family motto is ‘never give up’, and this painting represents us. As the tallest trees, my wife and I are standing guard to protect our children. The canopy above is free so they can grow and see the world. My son also helped me to paint a small part on the lower-right, so this is a real father-son piece.”

R EM I ND ME N E V E R TO FO R G E T

IMAGE SIZE 72CM X 37CM // FRAMED SIZE 99CM X 64CM GICLÉE PRINT ON GLASS OF 195 // FRAMED £850

Location: Finland Music: ‘Nomadic Life’, Hans Zimmer, Planet Earth II

“This is inspired by our travels to Finland, and the image was captured after aurora- hunting on a long walk back to our house. I have enjoyed experimenting with perspective painting, as you are always looking up at the sky. When you are at the top of the planet, twilight seems to last much longer.”

S K Y O F S U B S TANC E

IMAGE SIZE 91CM X 58CM // FRAMED SIZE 119CM X 85CM GICLÉE PRINT ON GLASS OF 195 // FRAMED £995

Location: Thailand Music: ‘The Plains’, Ryan Amon, The Sketchbook

“During our many trips to Thailand, I have always been amazed by the colourful skies there. Hot and humid, the country offers a different view of twilight; as it is so close to the equator, you have just minutes before the sun goes down rapidly. It was a challenge to work on the vast colour changes of the sky.”

BIOGRAPHY

Born: Northampton (1974) Lives and works: Surrey Awards: Daily Mail ‘Artist of the Year’ (1992) Exhibitions: Aurora Borealis (2018)

From braving the Icelandic wilderness to traversing the towering mountains of Norway, Richard Rowan’s glass landscapes are fuelled by a passion for nature and travel. Known for his reverse technique of painting – in which he paints backwards on the opposite side of a sheet of a glass – the Surrey-based artist says he is on a constant learning curve. The medium enables Richard to achieve a much smoother gradient and colour spectrum than canvas, in turn bringing his natural phenomena to life. His unconventional method was honed using glass from the local tip whilst working at Formula One. Inspired by the art of J.M.W. Turner, the former designer became fascinated by the power of light and sought to capture it. He explains: “Instead of painting with acrylics, decorating paints or inks – in my eyes an abomination – I discovered the reflection of light. It was in this moment that my life started.” Previous works, including Aurora Borealis , have seen Richard reveal the beauty of lightning and chase the elusive northern lights. Working from sketches and drawings, he paints the foreground in oils first. The glass is then baked in a makeshift box, where it dries out over two weeks. Following this, he scratches out the paint to add detail. Richard says: “I am inspired by the magnificence and splendour of the natural environment. By capturing the movement of light, I try to encourage my viewers to feel as if they are in the moment.”

R I C H A R D R OWA N

The images contained within this literature are an artistic representation of the collection. To best experience our art, we recommend you contact your local gallery to arrange a viewing. © Washington Green 2019. The content of this brochure is subject to copyright and no part can be reproduced without prior permission. washingtongreen.co.uk

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