Colin Slater


Based in East Northamptonshire close by the River Nene, the subject of Colin's work is the experience of being beneath an open sky, of walking the landscape and responding to its ever changing moods, scents, sounds, temperature and colour.  However he works a triangular format, each causing a chain reaction with the other two; he works directly from the landscape on his doorstep, develops imagery associated with travel, and makes personal translations of drawings made from paintings of the Masters.

He is directly influenced by the great tradition of Dutch and English landscape painting, in particular the work of Ruisdael and Turner.  There is also a strong and close affinity with oriental imagery and he acknowledges a great debt to the Japanese Masters Utagawa Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai.

As a foot traveller he records reactions to a place as an emotional sensation, drawing copiously with many notations and images made on the spot before the motif.  Canvas paintings however are studio based where the moment is relived and explored anew, the accumulation of notebook drawings and writings transporting him back in time and place as can a scent or a piece of music.  In the studio the editing process can continue unhindered by the view, the abstract manipulation of paint takes priority and contact with landscape becomes a spiritual rather than a physical association.  He is more concerned with how it felt, than how it looked.

Topographical information is important and so is the place that inspired the composition, but there is a human condition inherent too.  Although the compositions can be appreciated for what they are, as paintings of landscape, there is another level.  Much has happened in his life during recent years with regard to health and state of mind.  The work therefore, both visually and through written word, can also be seen metaphorically.  It is as much a reflection of himself and of his place in the world, as it is about the place itself.