James Naughton has been a constant exhibitor at Beckstones Art Gallery for around ten years and has an extensive following among our customers. Born in Bolton in 1971 he pursued a childhood love of art to achieve a first class honours degree from the Metropolitan University of Leeds in 1994. James Naughton has already enjoyed an extraordinary career as one of Britain’s most accomplished and sought after landscape painters. A James Naughton painting evokes an emotional experience, sometimes even a spiritual one, but he prefers not to attach definitive meanings to his work, preferring his painting to speak for itself and allowing the individual viewer his or her own personal dialogue with the image. A natural admirer of Turner and the German Romantics, James Naughton’s work “is searching to communicate the very essence of light, how it travels, is absorbed, its warmth and the powerful emotional feelings it evokes in us”. In his completed paintings “there is a sense that elemental forces are at work, with huge clouds hanging over endless horizons, sunlight emerging through the darkness”. James Naughton paints exclusively in oils, allowing the paint’s accidental organic movement to constantly challenge his initial vision of the landscape and has gradually developed his own unconventional techniques, many resulting from his printmaking background. James Naughton’s work has an immediacy with the image, an emotive intensity of mood, and an ability to strike a balance between representation and abstraction. He doesn’t paint from sketches or photographs and has no firm idea how the work will turn out. “For me the best art comes when I switch off my yearning for conscious control, allow my sub-conscious to just respond to the surface.” James Naughton’s success has brought him many regional and national awards, including The Laing Landscape Painting Competition and his work has featured successfully in many exhibitions and is included in an increasing number of important collections. James has held three exhibitions with Beckstones in 2010, 2012 and 2014 which all proved to be a great success.
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