FRENCH, Gerald: ‘My Art’

In March 1965 the Bradford-born artist, Gerald French, was interviewed by art critic, Brian Vale, for the ‘Bradford Pictorial’, a monthly lifestyle magazine.  In the interview, Gerald explained his sources of inspiration and approach to art.

On his inspiration:

“Well they have altered in so far as originally they were mainly landscape or seascape influences in a very broad sense, whereas some of the more recent paintings have been influenced more by objects and the growth and movements of natural forms in landscape, with an emphasis on the form part rather than the landscape part.”

“I have been greatly influenced by Turner and Samuel Palmer, and probably by the contemporaries, Graham Sutherland.”

Still Life. Image: Art UK/Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield

On his approach to painting:

“There are various ways in which a painting evolves. The principal way for most of my paintings is by having seen something which interests me and then producing a series of pencil roughs of about two by three inches, or at most, six by four inches.  I do a series of pencil scribbles or jottings around the theme and then pick out the best, or a few of the best and develop these into a painting.”

“Another method has been to doodle around for a time and eventually I find that something evolves which has been lying dormant at the back of my mind. By doing these doodles I find that something crops up which immediately relates to an experience that I have had.”

‘Earth Evolved No. 1’. Image: Tennants Auctioneers

“It may be something like waves dashing on rocks. This can often give a far better and a far more free interpretation of this experience than actually trying to force myself to recall it more or less line for line and object for object.”

See the artist’s full profile at Gerald French

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