Q&A with artist, Dave King

Q&A Interview with artist, Dave King


“New Paintings” exhibition in the Blanchminster Room  – 1st December 2018 – 6th January 2019





Can you tell me a little bit about this exhibition? What is the history behind it, the themes and inspiration?


This show is of work that I have made in the past twelve months and I have enjoyed seeing all the pieces together for the first time. I don’t think I have enough space here to talk about the history behind my practice but that and the themes and inspiration are, I think, all dealt with briefly in the questions below . . .


Why have you chosen these mediums to work in? Which is your favourite?


I have always preferred oil paint to any other medium. Watercolour is not dense and ‘full’ of colour enough. Acrylic is too plastic-looking and man-made, the colour can seem false at times. Oil paint retains the quality of being far more natural, dug out of the earth. What’s more I absolutely love the smell of turpentine!


As for the support, I find canvas is not resistant enough to the pressure of the brush. I’m not keen on a texture showing through the paint layer. Wood is preferable but lately Dibond aluminium sheet, with its thinness and semi matt finish, is much better in terms of how the work is developing.


Do you have a favourite piece of artwork in the exhibition and why?


If I were forced to choose I guess I would pick “Amongst the Trees (Blue House)” because it seems to be going in a slightly more adventurous direction – losing the still-life elements and the sea horizon and becoming more about pattern making with geometric shapes. But I would also pick “Hidden House” because there I have gotten away with a minimum of fuss in the composition, the colours gel together well and the different heights of the surface surprisingly succeed.


What drew you to this genre of art?


I know what didn’t draw me to work like this: I have a deep dislike of Pop Art! I think the geometry and lining things up and playing with shape and line has always been an OCD thing for me. Also I remember having an epiphany during a lecture at college in about 1977 where I suddenly understood what Pollock and Cubism was all about. I’ve never forgotten it!



Who are the artists that have most inspired you and why?


Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Titian, Paul Cezanne, Juan Gris, Philip Guston, Agnes Martin, Tony Cragg, Sean Scully and umpteen others, all for separate and varied reasons. The list continues to grow each time I look at Pinterest!


Has living in North Cornwall also inspired your work?


Of course. Memories of the shapes and colours of my surroundings all creep into the work somehow. Consequently, when I moved to Devon in 2013 the subject matter subtly changed aswell.


But, I have to say, the infamous “quality of light” in Cornwall compared to anywhere else in the world is not something I have ever noticed or been interested in. Its a bit of a myth, I think!


How do you see your work evolving in the future?


Lord knows! I think I would like to get away from pure landscape somehow and I would like to develop the idea that the paintings can become more like sculptures hanging on the wall. Getting back to something like the work that I made in college back in the late 70s in fact!


If there was one piece of advice you could give a young and upcoming artist, what would it be?


Always believe strongly in what you are doing and don’t be put off by the fact that it is a long and winding road that probably never has an ending. Enjoy the passion! Find out more about Dave King on his website here: