Rob Wilson

Rob Wilson Originals

All prints are hand signed and numbered. Various sizes available. Please contact the Gallery for more information.

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Rob constructing one of his mixed media artworks

Rob constructing one of his mixed media artworks

Rob studied for his degree at Bradford University in Graphic Design and Illustration. With its rich heritage of textiles, Bradford became a large influence in Rob’s work.

Now his inspiration comes from the dramatic architecture and moody landscapes found in and around the North West. Heavily influenced by graphic design and textile design, typeface and stitching often sit side by side with more traditional media, creating uniquely abstract pieces.

Rob’s method of combining paint and print sees him using a variety of printed matter including Vogue sewing patterns, and pages from programmes, brochures and leaflets, which often relate to the subject matter of the painting. Layers & texture are built up with paint, printed matter and tissue paper, and then after the painting is dry, Rob adds lines of machine stitch detail and these bring the painting to life.

In 2007 he received a Commendation for his painting ‘The Audience’ at the highly respected Derbyshire Open and went on to win the ‘Best Artist Award’ at the Buxton Festival Fringe.

Since then, Rob is fast building a reputation as one of the most exciting contemporary artists in the North West, and in recent times taking commissions from Old Trafford Cricket Ground and Manchester United FC.

Rob’s recent paintings of Manchester are characterised by their visual complexity; they have an energy and vibrancy which reflects the city itself. A love of architecture enables him to depict the city’s landmark buildings in a new light – he sees beauty in detail and has a fresh way of looking at the landscape which offers unexpected insights. But these works are not gloomy cityscapes; the paintings are alive with colour and detail.

Rob’s Process

I usually work from photos. If the piece has been commissioned I would wait for the right light before taking the photos. I like strong light as it brings out the contrast of a building’s architecture. I’m also very particular about the angle of the photo and like to have foreground interest (usually people) as it provides perspective to the scene and also gives the building a sense of purpose or context.

From this I produce a very quick line drawing on to canvas using watercolour pencil crayons. This becomes the rough layout for the painting and introduces pace and movement to the painting right at the start. I water down the pencil drawing using diluted glue before laying on the trademark dress patterns. Once dry I often use a wash of acrylic inks to start adding large areas of tone. I then use acrylic paint to define the areas of intense light and shade before adding cut sections of news print and leaflets which are often relevant to the subject.  After more layers of print I finish with subtle wash of watercolour to fine tune the tones. Then the piece is ready for stitching. This stage is very important as it literally ties together various elements of the painting, without which the painting feels unresolved.

About Rob
Who is your favourite artist?
I have a few! but the main ones have to be Alice Kettle for her fantastic textile work and Liam Spencer for the way he captures atmosphere. 

Where do you go for inspiration?
I’m pretty much inspired wherever I go! Manchester in particular, its a great place for inspiration. Also often on holiday, be it the South of France, Canada or Austria I get the craving to paint and usually come back recharged and full of new ideas.

Is there an artwork you are most proud of?
I think it’s still ‘The Cornerhouse’. It’s one of the first I produced of Manchester on which a lot of the techniques I’d been practicing over the years came together properly for the first time.

What was the first piece you sold?
I first exhibited artwork from my degree show which sold in a small gallery in my home town, Knutsford. They were four small life studies mainly in stitching. They didn’t sell for much but it was a great feeling!

How long do you work on each piece?
It varies depending on the size. Between 8-20 hours? I usually only work in 3 hour stints as it’s surprisingly exhausting!

The Ashes Series – Old Trafford 2013

Prints and Print Box Sets from this series are still available.
Please get in contact for more details.

Rob was commissioned to be the Official Artist for Lancashire County Cricket Club over the Ashes series. There are several prints and originals available from this series. Please contact the gallery for more information.

Rob Wilson – Mixed Media Artist – Time Lapse Video from Video Archer on Vimeo.

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