12 October 2012

Discovered Artists - Part 1

Last week, I shared a few great shops / galleries that we discovered on our recent travels in and around Weymouth. If you missed that, you can catch up here.

This week, I want to start sharing with you some artists that we also discovered on our travels, through a number of other great galleries that we visited in Dorset. This is the first of a few posts, since we found many gems!

Leighton Gallery, Weymouth

The Leighton Gallery houses the magnificent work of two particular artists that caught my attention when we visited. The first being the gallery owner himself, Martin J Leighton, and the other being the late artist Trevor Lawrence.

Martin J Leighton

Martin J Leighton - 'The Gathering', 'Submission', 'Gwen in Laced Blouse'.
(All images sourced directly from www.leightongallery.co.uk)

Martin Leighton may very well be the best figurative artist I have ever seen. When my eyes first found his work - the original of 'The Gathering' - I was blown away. Like with any work of art, the pictures I have displayed here really are nothing compared to the real things - especially because they are low resolution - but I'm confident that you can nevertheless get a really good feel for how good Martin is.

So what is it that I love so much about his work? Above all, I would have to say the tones that he manages to capture with his brush - the contrast between light and dark, and the depth of shine and shadow. As you can see from the bottom two pictures, he thoroughly enjoys painting women - particularly naked women. In fact, his gallery was mainly decorated with that kind of subject. But when you see how truly brilliant he is at capturing the tones and intricacies of the body, you can really appreciate why.

Having worked within a Fine Art course for 2 years, I can really appreciate figurative painting - it is something I myself enjoyed most. It may be somewhat down to my own appreciation of this subject that I find Martin's figurative work so captivating, but nevertheless, I would challenge anyone to look at these magnificent pieces of work and not be overwhelmed by his ability. Martin has quickly become my favourite figurative painter - and more so every time I look at his work.

I must lastly mention that although Martin clearly specialises in figurative painting, he also paints landscapes, seascapes, still life and wildlife - and very well too. His talents are by no means restricted
to the figurative style - he is a certain all rounder!

Trevor Lawrence

Trevor Lawrence - 'Windows of Light', 'Stairway to Nowhere', 'Making the Best of it'.
(All images sourced directly from www.leightongallery.co.uk)

Trevor Lawrence really caught my imagination in the gallery - again, these pictures really do not do the work justice, compared to the real things. I was stood, transfixed for many minutes, absorbed in the busy, colourful paintings.

The inspiration for his work is said to come from the beautiful Dorset coastline and events such as kite flying festivals and the Weymouth carnival. Other influences include his own life experiences and his own creative mind, which I must say, sit much better with me, since his paintings only spell out one thing to me; Asia.

I was very surprised to read about his influences, as I had imagined from his work that he had travelled well, and had a deep fondness of Asia - it is funny how the viewer can interpret pieces of work so differently to how they were perhaps intended.

The paintings tell me about the shanty towns that you might find in India and the like - the slums even. But it is very happy - the activity, the vibrancy, and the atmosphere of the pictures... even the beautiful sunset. It astounded me that up-close, they looked like a vast mass of colourful little marks, yet as I stepped back, I saw form and definite structure - figures jumped out at me from every nook and cranny.

The sad fact is that I may never find out why I see Asia, and it is a fact that makes these paintings so much more valuable than they already are. We were very sad to learn that Trevor recently passed away, which is a tragic loss I think.

It isn't very often that I find an artist so different to any other I have seen before, and one that captivates my imagination so much. I feel better travelled to have seen this work - and honoured really, considering they will now be in short supply.

Trevor is right next to Martin at the top of my favourite painters list, but obviously for very different reasons. If I could ever own just one piece of their original works, I would be one happy lady!

Next week I will be sharing more discovered artists with you, from other galleries that we visited on our inspiring travels.


  1. We've just found out that Leighton Gallery is currently holding an exhibition of final works produced by Trevor Lawrence, which is running until the 28th October 2012. The exhibition also displays his easel, pallet knives (caked in paint!) and an unfinished canvas which gives an insight into his technique.

    We would've loved to attend if we were closer - if any of you are near Weymouth, it would definitely be worth a visit!

  2. I have 2 Original Paintings by Trevor Lawrence, bought in the early 70's in Southampton, they are untitled but signed on the back


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