About Nick

Working largely in oil and mixed media, Nick sporadically explores new ideas in his work through his response to light, colour, and a variety of media. Avoiding a slavish photographic representation, he enjoys the possibilities of mark making, surface texture and abstract qualities that are encountered through the act of painting.

Nick’s focus is to capture the feeling and emotion of a place, whilst depicting the interplay between light, land, water and sky. Nick’s love of painting landscapes and more recently seascapes and gardens has developed gradually in his work, which for many years was dominated by architectural subject matter and cityscapes.

Apart from a wealth of rich subject matter near his home in Kent, Nick enjoys painting views of the Thames valley, and North Yorkshire. Recently this has extended to the upland landscapes and coastal areas of south, west and northwest Britain. He continues to paint cityscapes of London as well as many continental ones.

 

Statement

“Although I enjoy working on location it is my quest to develop my work further and avoid it simply being an illustration of what I see before me. Painting in the studio helps me in this quest, where I am not constrained by time factors such as the weather or changing light.

 After an initial drawing and loose under painting, my process is very much a process of exploration. This journey attempts to bring together both the constraints of the image and the response and thrill in manipulating art materials; more often oils, but sometimes a combination of collage, acrylic, watercolour and drawing materials. I use brushes, palette knives, or small plastic squeegees (old credit cards). A painting can happen rapidly when all goes smoothly, which is a joy, but more often it is a struggle, and achieving flow is elusive. I feel I have succeeded when all elements in the painting sit harmoniously and it is left for the viewer to make the final painting. I’ve heard it said that painting is more akin to marathon running. 

 Although I’ve probably been more drawn to the work of Cezanne, I recently came across these quotes by Degas, which seem quite pertinent to what I am currently thinking. I haven’t achieved these yet but perhaps they echo the direction in which I’m heading.”

Edward Degas Quotes

“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.”

“A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, and some fantasy. When you always make your meaning plain you end up boring people.”

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how but very difficult when you do.”

“Art is not what we see but what you can make others see.”

 

CV

I have exhibited widely in UK, as well as in France, Netherlands and Dubai.

Selected exhibitions include

Royal Society of Marine Artists, Mall Galleries London 2019 & 20

Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Mall Galleries London 2012 & 16

Royal Society of British Artists, Mall Galleries London   2013 & 15 

The Chelsea Art Society Annual Exhibition, London 2018 & 19

Solo exhibitions

“Perspectives” The Smallhythe Gallery, Tenterden. 2020. Cut short by Covid

Portico Gallery, Sevenoaks 2017

Cranbrook Library Kent. Solo Show 2013

 

I have exhibited regularly with 

West End House Gallery Smarden, Kent 2020

Glyndebourne Opera Gallery. Featured Artist 2018-19

Whittington Fine Art, Henley on Thames 1998-2018

Saffron Gallery, East Grinstead  2017-18

Ashdown Gallery, Forest Row 2015-18

Artspring Gallery, Tonbridge  2020 & 16-18

Portico Gallery, Sevenoaks 

Bedford Street Gallery, Woburn , Bedfordshire 2010-16

Wing Gallery, Wadhurst, East Sussex 2015-16

Genty Fine Art, London, Tonbridge and Vouvant, France 2005-2014

Pantiles Edge Gallery, Tunbridge Wells, Kent 2006-2013

Blackheath Gallery, London  2005-2012

Art Fairs, Annual and Group Exhibitions

Fry Art Gallery, Saffron Walden. Annual Sale (since 2016)

Cranbrook Art Show 2017

September Art Show  Wadhurst  E. Sussex 2017, 15 & 08

Tunnel Gallery, Tonbridge School, Art Spring Group Exhibition, 2015

Lustre Exhibition, OBS Gallery, Tonbridge School 2018 & 15

Brighton Art Fair 2014

The Kent and Sussex Art Fair, Rolvenden Kent  2013

Parallax Art Fair, Pall Mall, London 2011

Kent painters Group, Annual Exhibition since 1999

Pure Annual Art Exhibition, Battle since 2010

South East Open Studios since 1998

Awards

Chelsea Art Society, Julian Barrow Painting Prize 2018

Pure Painting Prize 2017 & 18

Interviews

Pure Art360 Live Interview Broadcast, featured on YouTube Sept. 2020

Featured as “Artist of the Month” in Kent Life Magazine Sept. 2014

Before 2010

RWS Mall Galleries London

Singer & Friedlander Watercolour Show Mall Galleries London

Medici Gallery Dover Street London

Broadway Modern Gallery, Broadway, Cotswolds

Collier Bristow Gallery, London

Redleaf Gallery   Tunbridge Wells

Nick Bowlby Tunbridge Wells

The Affordable Art Fair ( 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002 )

The Dubai Art Fair 

Art For Offices, London

Project Art, London

Artist in Residence and Jointure Studios, Ditchling, East Sussex 

Quantum Fine Art, London

Solo Exhibition Sevenoaks Library Gallery, Kent. Solo Show 1997

Solo Exhibition Trinity Art Centre, Tunbridge,Wells, Kent 1985

Commissions and Publications

I have been commissioned to paint paintings for many private and corporate projects including a number of new Royal Caribbean Cruise Liners and a London Underground Poster.

I have written articles for The Artist Magazine and Artists and Illustrators magazine. My work appears in a number of practical art books by Dorling Kindersley and North Light Books.

Education and Work Experience:

Foundation Canterbury College of Art

BA(Hons) Fine Art, Nottingham, Trent Polytechnic

During the Eighties I was a freelance scenic artist working in the film, advertising and pop video industries.

During the Nineties I taught Art in secondary education, cutting back to devote the majority of my time to painting. 

I live and work in Tonbridge, Kent.

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