Sub­tle con­fi­dence

Berkshire Life - - Inspirational Woman -

This month, Read­ing based artist Richard Young is ex­hibit­ing his work at the Royal Berk­shire Hos­pi­tal. “I al­ways wanted to be an artist,” he says. “I did A Level art at school, two years ahead of time. I wanted to pur­sue a ca­reer in art but back then, it was harder to get your name ‘out there’, so in­stead I went into en­gi­neer­ing and saw the world.”

Richard re­cently re­lo­cated to Read­ing from Saudi Ara­bia, where he met his part­ner, Sarah. “We were both out there work­ing for an en­gi­neer­ing com­pany. An ar­ti­san at heart, I’d never given up on my dream of be­com­ing an artist and I’d paint at night, ex­per­i­ment­ing with styles and tech­niques,” he says.

Richard sold his first paint­ing in 2003. It was called ‘In­tro­spec­tion’. “It was an ex­per­i­ment with colour and light. I was heav­ily in­flu­enced by the desert at that time. Hav­ing some­one buy my work mo­ti­vated me to keep go­ing,” he says.

“I never use a brush; I paint with a knife, of­ten in a lim­ited colour pal­ette and mix­ing only on can­vas. The style of my art­work is modern, yet clas­si­cal/tra­di­tional and oc­ca­sion­ally con­tem­po­rary. My com­po­si­tions en­tail dra­matic light­ing and shad­ing, in a high con­trast. I love light; I’m fas­ci­nated with its in­flu­ence on any sub­ject. Pre­dom­i­nantly fig­u­ra­tive, I aim to cap­ture a com­posed aloof anonymity, mood, at­mos­phere, drama, pas­sion and emo­tion of a per­for­mance in a frozen re­al­ism.”

Richard has painted prin­ci­pal bal­leri­nas, such as Ta­mara

Rojo and Daria Kli­men­tova. His paint­ing, Sub­tle Con­fi­dence (top left), was a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Rus­sian pho­tog­ra­pher Elena

Bembi. “The pose on one leg, the fa­cial ex­pres­sion and the hands de­pict con­fi­dence,” he says. “It’s sur­pris­ing how much a hand tells about an in­ten­tion or a mood or an at­mos­phere. The light­ing and colours are sub­tle, and the colour pal­ette is in­ten­tion­ally lim­ited.”

His most fa­mous paint­ing is

The Pas­sion of Dance of Drew Ja­coby (top right). “I could have sold this sev­eral times over!” he says. “There are prints in homes, bars, res­tau­rants and ho­tels. I’ve also been sent pho­to­graphs of it tat­tooed on sev­eral peo­ple!”

Richard is also work­ing on a se­ries of paint­ings of jazz mu­si­cians. He says: “There’s such soul in their per­for­mance, I’m try­ing to cap­ture that. I’m on num­ber four of six, and then I’ll be plan­ning an­other ex­hi­bi­tion.” So watch this space. See Richard’s work at the Royal Berk­shire Hos­pi­tal from 6 Jan­uary − 24 Feb­ru­ary. ry­

Free­dom in Sax; and In­tro­spec­tion

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