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Originals - Technical Information

About the Originals


My work is currently exploring an almost ‘back to basics’ approach to what truly drives me to create images . . . They are a ‘stepping away’ from the frequent obsession with detail in my work .

I am loosening the grip that has always sought to bend the media and materials to my will or vision . . . a more minimum interference approach that desires less aggravation and sheer driven intent in the way I work . This is a condition I often find restraining and thus less capable of daring to take the hugely necessary risks that facilitate an environment in which you are always allowed to grow and expand your skills and knowledge of the ideas , materials and stocks you use to create your images .


There is also a desire to share my fascination with the alchemy of inks, pigments and solutions that I employ. A hope that by relinquishing a little control it will allow the media and materials own voice and particular characteristics to shine through, for they are truly immense and infinite in their own right.


One of my favourite painters speaks of her paints being “a much better painter than she is” and I enormously empathise with this. I all too often totally lose my rag with something I am working on and ‘cast it down ’ to the floor only to find that gravity, force mass motion and my solution have conspired to produce a mark or series of marks far more interesting than those I have spent days trying to actually paint !


My recent paintings are also a ‘stepping away’ from colour . In a modern world so relentlessly and intensely saturated with a constant barrage of imagery and colour I find myself returning to my

long standing fascination with black and white or at least near monochromatic imagery . Most of my primary artistic influences over the years follow a strong monochromatic aesthetic and this was also perhaps reinforced by my studies in black and white photography . 


Perhaps more importantly in the works I am currently working on is a notion I had one day on the hill . . .  It was a blanket fog, and whilst stood there feeling overwhelmed with awe and deeply inspired to start sketching the vague billowing forms around me, it occurred to me that neither colour or detail were key characters in this adumbrative and ethereal landscape around me. The climatic conditions of the day had reduced all visual elements to a hundred shades of grey, and it has always been these kinds of conditions that I find most breathtaking and moving, waves in a sea fog, the hint of a coastline, gently moving treetops in mist, the soft line of a hill, the point at which atop some peak or section of moorland that you cannot tell land from sky. Its as though my senses are most elevated by a ‘suggestion’ of what is there, by what I cannot quite see .


I am also and have always been deeply affected by the world at night. I have always relished travelling at night when the moon allows and a good moon can cast the world in a wonderful vivid half light that reduces the landscape to a limited palette of blacks, sepias, blues and greys, and detail whether ‘soft’ or ‘sharp’ is rendered for the most part unseen.


There is a state of raised awareness at night that I find exhilarating . . .  a familiar sight can be re-cast with a whole new set of airs, feelings and emotions that simply do not occur to you in the light of day. I have several times nearly scared myself lifeless at the nocturnal motions and reverberating sounds of what later presented itself as merely a wandering sheep, badger, deer , feral dog or hill pony. The dark plays tricks . . .  and the senses, innately and inherently open to the possibility of threat or danger in the darkness . . . in the ‘unseen’ . . . are most alive at night .

So whilst to most the idea of sketching by torch light may seem slightly unhinged, the world is almost certainly a very different place at night, and one with which I have always had a close relationship with . . . it seems to me one infinitely worthy of some attempt to portray it.


These current paintings are all created using inks, pigments and powders , soot solutions and refined beeswax. The beeswax is used as resists and as part of my sealing process to ensure these paintings will not shed , fade or degrade over time. Rather than employing modern solvent based sealants I choose to bow to the Ancient Greeks whose encaustic tradition has ensured that the Romano-Egyptian ‘Fayum Portraits’ survive to this day . Technically I can not in good conscience refer to my work as ‘Watercolours’, not wishing to cause offence to any true watercolour purists out there, but rather beeswax sealed water based media.


For any other enquiries please dont hesitate to contact me on



Barry Martin-Andrews
Manchester House

3 Castle St



Hawthorn Gallery

General Opening Hours

Monday to Saturday - 10am till 5pm

Appointments available by arrangement

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