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.
“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.”
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
“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
Chelsea Art Society, Julian Barrow Painting Prize 2018
Pure Painting Prize 2017 & 18
Pure Art360 Live Interview Broadcast, featured on YouTube Sept. 2020
Featured as “Artist of the Month” in Kent Life Magazine Sept. 2014
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.