Inspired by his local landscape, Lawrence Coulson's evocative paintings illustrate the power of nature.
History and Background
Lawrence has always been surrounded by art. His father is the successful painter Gerald Coulson, and he was encouraged from an early age to explore his artistic talents.
At the age of 21, his father set him the task of copying a Victorian landscape. Although he gave Lawrence a few pointers, he essentially left him to his own devices. Rising to the challenge of matching his stumbling technique to what the old master had created, Lawrence developed a love for painting and was inspired to create his own pieces.
Ideas and Inspirations
Lawrence's latest body of work, A Darker Light, was in his own words, "born from a period of reflection; an unconscious traversing of the elements accumulated over the last 30 years".
The collection takes its name from a Gary Numan live EP. The artist's calling cards of light, space and atmosphere have been injected with more warmth and power than previous works to breathe new life into his classic techniques and compositions.
He adds: “My work focuses increasingly on contrast, juxtaposing light against darker tones, uplifting and more reflective moods, and moments of hope and optimism shining through a threatening atmosphere.
"The natural light that appears as dawn breaks or dusk falls is my favourite light to capture. At these times, everything is in a state of flux; shadows travel and perspectives shift, and there is a finite period of time in which to commit the scene to memory. I feel that A Darker Light captures this perfectly.”
From Palette to Picture
Lawrence begins with a simple pencil line to denote the horizon, before mapping out the rest of the composition in his head. Following this, he applies colour in oil across the panel before blending it with his fingers and then again with a fine brush. He repeats this process until he achieves the desired effect and the work in front of him does justice to the landscape he sees in his mind.
He explains: "I still take immense enjoyment from gathering my own reference shots, and I have been known to hare off with my camera at a moment’s notice if I spot a particularly striking sunset from my studio window. I often visit my cottage on the north Norfolk coast for a change of scenery.
"My heart still beats for the incomparable landscapes of Britain and resolutely belongs here, in our fair and pleasant land."