Wills
Nationality :
British
Age :
54 y.o.
Residing :
United Kingdom
Wills
Painting
Artist’s prices ranging from
400 € to 4 500 €
Followers Art Traffikers
7

Each painting, for me, must have its own soul. It must have the appearance that it has already been read, by me, only than can it leave the studio.

Wills

Introducing Wills

Will Swayne ? Before asking him to enter Art Traffik’s selection, I was absolutely blown away when I last visited his atelier. I had first seen his artworks 4 years ago, and had since regularly followed his work. Until one day, he paid Art Traffik a friendly visit, at which time we again spoke of his work : “Yeah, my work has changed a lot, I think I’m on to something; you should see it for yourself” (words spoken in French but with a very thick British accent, humility in his tone of voice, all the while hesitatingly stroking his beard, yet with a mischievous look in his eyes for he was apparently…thrilled). He showed me several pictures he had taken with his phone which convinced me that I had to visit his atelier again (where I was to be later blown away), and have him enter our catalogue. And it was now I who was VERY thrilled…

 

I will quickly skip through his career path for a lot is to be said about his paintings. Born in England (hence the accent), he first began working in a bank during 10 years : “I was pretty good in drawing and painting in school which allowed me to be accepted into the Beaux-Arts school, but my parents preferred I go to Business School instead” he laughs. But one day, after having worked 10 years in a bank, he decided to leave it all behind and bought a gallery in London. He continued to paint occasionally, leading to the discovery of his work by an established artist (Ron MacGill) who offered to give him lessons one a week, during three years…at which time Will discovered and learned to work with oil-based paint. Laughing he says “I think I was a better painter than gallerist so one day I said to myself ‘it’s now or never’ ”. In 2003, he sold his house and the gallery, and left England to move to France with the firm intention to dedicate his time entirely to painting. His first exhibits began “here and there”, and in 2008 he did his first solo show in a gallery in London. Quickly, galleries began seeking him out, allowing him to live from his art…Today, he is exhibited in England, France, Wales, Portugal and the United States…

 

 

Now, let’s get back to his paintings…

 

Being a great fan of Turner, his favorite subject matter has always been landscapes…more particularly seascapes. “Sometimes I will take pictures, or I’ll sketch - on a notebook I carry with me everywhere – a landscape that I like, many of which I believe come to me in my dreams. I work a lot when I sleep, therefore, I work a lot (laughs)”. The fact is that he is always alert, observing and storing up colors, the play of lights, and the different perspectives in nature…all of which give rise to his landscapes.

 

However, it was his style that evolved and progressively led him to his present work…what blew me away ! An evolution that took place in 2 phases…

The 1st phase during which Will delved further into abstract…Beginning with the sky, progressively spreading below the skyline.

The second phase consisted in the evolution of Will’s color palette, tending towards more livelier colors, contrasted with grays and blacks, which he obtains by mixing pigments together…Usually prone to soft colors, Will has developed a thirst for colors and matter, superposing more and more layers of glaze that give rise to artworks rich in undulations.

 

This double shift came about from a sort of revelation, in spite of Will, which hasn’t left him since : “I must create a first painting, the first landscape I envision. But, unsatisfied, I will work on it again, destroying it completely with strokes, single and double layers, until the final artwork is obtained which, in the end, does not at all resemble the initial painting.”

 

From the overlaying of glaze coats (up to 20) and toying with colors, composing and associating different pigments that render an array of colors including his “black”, come about these intense panoramas throughout which the eyes wander and lights play; gaining in energy, strength and depth, thus multiplying the possible interpretations of those contemplating them. They literally absorb you…

However, Will goes on to say, always with that smile and malicious stare : “I have fun, I don’t really know what I’m doing!”. Yet, he admits that he can also spend hours staring at a painting before stroking it with his paintbrush…If he doesn’t know what he’s doing, as he puts it, Will has very high standards when it comes to letting an artwork leave his atelier, and although his strokes are spontaneous, they are nonetheless full of emotions and intentions…all the more so now that abstract has taken the upper hand.

 

The skyline is the only visible and legible foundation Will wants us to see of his landscapes, a sort of path that pulls us in. “It’s like a book; a starting point that attracts the eye towards a pathway that will lead us elsewhere.” It isn’t surprising to learn that Will describes himself as a dreamer, a wanderer, but also capable of staying still, like when he stares at his paintings, or spends hours watching the sun’s rays play through the trees, observing hues of colors. “I am lazy, I work as little as possible, but it’s also because I am constantly working in my head (laughs).”

It’s all so astounding…all the more reason to leave you now and let you admire his artworks, to be captivated and journey through them…through their vibrant colors and different pathways…a genuine emotional rollercoaster.

 

ARTISTS HE ADMIRES : 

William Turner Léonard de Vinci Joseph Ruttenberg