As one of our most popular artists here at The Gallery, we caught up with Chris Neale to talk about what its like being a landscape artist in Pembrokeshire and how he sees his own work.
Hi Chris, can you introduce yourself and describe your work?
I painted as a child and teenager, then studied graphic design, working in this profession for many years before again returning to painting. This return was instigated by many hours spent amongst the hills and on the coast path
What is your studio like?
I work from a small studio at the back of my house. There's just room for my drawing board, art materials, lots of CDs and my studio dog chair
Why do you work in pastels?
I work in pastels, acrylic or watercolour. I like the quality of the colour obtained from pastels as they are almost pure pigment and have a wonderful flat finish like lime wash. I also prefer drawing to painting
Most of your pieces are unique views of familiar scenes - how do you achieve this?
I think every artist sees things differently. My work shows how I see the landscape influenced by composition, colour and only the essential elements that create the emotion of a particular place
The Welsh landscape features predominantly in your work- is that an unconscious decision because of where you’re situated or does it continue to inspire you?
I love living and working in Wales, there is so much inspiration, especially off the beaten track. It is a very fundamental experience that only a Welsh word - hiraeth - can convey. I have no interest in crossing Wales' eastern border
Do you have a favourite piece from your own collections?
There are bits I like and dislike in every painting but some of the subjects are very special to me, usually the more intimate images like Garn Fawr. Sometimes a painting will just come out like it was pre-determined from start to finish avoiding all the ups and downs that usually occur. These can be the most successful.
What artists or designers do you admire locally and nationally?
Three I admire greatly and who have influenced me are Kyffin Williams, David Humphreys and Frank Newbould
What do you want people who own your work to feel when they look at a piece of yours?
If they feel some of the inspiration and emotion that drove me to create the image then I hope to have achieved what I set out to do
Would you say your style has evolved? And if so what has influenced this?
It is continually evolving as successes and failures occur and as my experience of the subject develops. My use of materials is growing more competent and I hope to retain a loose approach to the subject. My subject as a source of inspiration is as strong as ever and as this is the essential catalyst to creation then that can only be positive.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us!
Love, the Gallery