I’ll be honest, I’m not sure how I stumbled upon James Bywood, but I’m glad I did. Using printing and painting techniques, James brings some of Yorkshire’s best loved landmarks to life with bright, bold yellows, greens, purples and blues. You can tell he’s in love with the land around him, you can see it in every image. I suppose it’s no surprise then that the Yorkshire Dales be one of his greatest inspirations…….
One… W. Heaton Cooper – Evening Light, Buttermere
A print of this original watercolour by Lakeland artist W. Heaton Cooper hung on my parents dining room wall in Sheffield for a number of years, and perhaps inspired me by osmosis to follow the artistic route I now do? No number of art tutors, trying to instil a post-modern aesthetic in my work, could remove my love of the simple transcendent pleasure of well painted landscape such as this.
Two… The Nineteenth-Century, Modern & Contemporary Collection – Metropolitan Museum of Art – NYC
Losing yourself in the MET is one of life’s luxuries. You could easily spend days wandering the 800 or so galleries and never see the same thing twice. If your short of time I would suggest the contemporary galleries are the place to head; a who’s-who of art, every wall hung with work from the four corners of the globe. Encompassing a multitude of art schools, the continuous sensory feast will make your head spin. Take a trip up the elevator to the roof-top cafe with views over Central Park when you need a rest. In my opinion, The MOMA is over-rated beyond the obvious architectural showcase, the MET and its contents win for pure inspiration.
Three… The Yorkshire Dales
I grew up with the Peak District on my doorstep, and to be honest could have chosen either national nark to include in this list. Having recently moved to Leeds has given me the opportunity to discover The Dales for the first time, exploring the park on foot whenever time and the weather allows. I tend to explore with camera in hand, taking the resultant images and combining them with memories of my explorations to create my final imagery.
Four… Neasden Control Centre
Sometimes working closely with someone really affects the way you endeavour to work yourself. This was certainly the case when working with Steve from London based studio Neasden Control Centre. Steve will continue to be my inspiration due entirely to the fact I have never met anyone before or since with such a magnificent work ethic. OK, so he is lucky to be blessed with a creative streak a mile wide, but he still has to work very hard to maintain his position in a notoriously fickle creative industry. It goes to show, put the hours in and you can go from a bedsit operation to travelling the world working on all manner of weird and wonderful projects. Nice one Steve.
Five… Letraset Pro Markers
Being a pen geek, find me a creative person that isn’t, means I spend far too long in HobbyCraft looking for new ways of making my mark on paper. Letraset Pro Markers have always been on my radar, but until recently prohibitively expensive. The range of colours is bewildering, 5 different grey tones is a little unnecessary, and the wedge pen dries out soon as you take off the cap, but I don’t care. Bold colours and a smell that harks back to the days of indelible markers in the class-room. Classic stuff.
Feature image taken from Old Man of Coniston by James Bywood.