As term time is so busy for me, I try to squeeze some gallery visits in the holidays.
I’m ashamed to say that after a full year at Bolton University, I had never visited Bolton Art Gallery. This was mostly due to the fact that I used my lunch breaks as studio time. With that in mind I took the family to Bolton Art Gallery in the summer holidays.
I knew one of the artists who had some work displayed and I was looking forward to seeing it. We’d met I the print studio at Uni as I was perfecting my gum Arabic technique. I was told he was a resident artist and we chatted about our work as we both worked side by side using the ‘little John’ press. He was working on some mono prints at the time and showed me his process, which ones he was happy with, with ones he wasn’t.
I’m always deeply interested in an established artist and quizzed him about his experience, knowledge and exhibitions. He humbly told me he had some work in Bolton Art Gallery and I promised I’d go and check it out.
So the time came when I was finally at the gallery and I was delightful surprised to find that they has an aquarium, an Egyptian museum, a local history and natural history museum amongst everything else. I was really please we made the trip and the children loved it.
We entered the art gallery to find work from local artists as well as a few masterpieces. As I entered the next exhibition room, I caught my artist friends name in huge letters. The whole exhibition was his work! I was utterly blown away at what I saw before my eyes.
James Naughton had painted, etched and printed the kind of work that my dreams are made of. I was mesmerised by his artistic vision for conveying nature and skylight’s juxtaposition. The overwhelming hills and mountains of West Wyoming and their colours had me aesthetically in awe.
James has managed to recreate these wonders of the natural world but with the magic that sunlight brings to the world. The large scale paintings really place you at the foot of the mountains and you can almost feel the sun on your face as the warm colours of the paint envelop you.
This is contrasted to the paintings, The Tetons in which he used blue, greens and whites to portray the cold, grassed area of the mountains. Yet you can feel the suns rays as they hit the side of the rocks and bask in its glow.
James’ works are truly masterpieces that dreams are made of. I can only aspire to be able to paint the way he does, capturing the magnificent rays of the sun and how it falls to the earth. I’m intrigued by natural light and I’m constantly finding new ways to capture, photograph and paint it. James has done this perfectly.
He also included some etchings of the mountains and the mono prints of the animals he encountered on his travels. These were the prints I was lucky enough to see being printed in the studio and I feel extremely privileged to have seen James at work.
The exhibition is a must see and highly recommended. I look forward to seeing James around the Uni again soon and his next project!