Whether it was drawing his favourite comic book superheroes or producing caricatures of his school teachers, Hamish Blakely's natural facility with pencil paved the way for a future in painting from an early age.

History and Background

Hamish was born in Canterbury in 1968 and studied illustration at Wimbledon School of Art before completing a degree at Kingston University.

During his career as a professional illustrator, his clients included The Body Shop, British Telecom and Cable and Wireless. He was also chosen to paint two front covers for the world-renowned author of Schindler’s List, Thomas Keneally.

At the same time, he and his wife Gail set up and curated their own shows in London, leading to a solo display in the Thomas Kettle Gallery in Covent Garden. 

When asked about how his work has changed so dramatically over recent years, Blakely says: “More than a preoccupation with the end result, it is a passion for the process itself that urges the work to evolve.”

Hamish believes that there is something primal and mystical about creating the illusion of a convincing vision on a once bare stretch of canvas.

Whether it is a children’s book, an advertising poster or a grand painting hanging in a museum, he ignores the idea of any hierarchy in art; the only important consideration is whether the work is meaningful or not.

Ideas and Inspirations

While technique is obviously important in representative art, Hamish feels it is something that must not be overindulged. He believes a painting is more than an arrangement of polished rendering and that the life of it involves spontaneity and boldness.

For Hamish, Rembrandt had the most captivating quality: the ability to paint with breathtaking finesse, while creating a tactile graininess achieved with layer upon layer of heavily-applied pigment.

The paintings are more than beautiful; they are weathered by the accumulation of work, reworking and the most intense commitment. It is this complexity that Hamish finds so alluring.

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