- Vernissage on Saturday 26 April 2022, 17:00
“My paintings are a celebration of life, a synthesis of energy, emotion and colour using the theme of landscape, trees and the natural world”
Donald has spent his working life in the visual arts both as an artist in industry and education. Born in Zimbabwe in 1961, he moved to Dundee Scotland in 1978 where he attended Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. He graduated with BA Hons Fine Art in 1983. He is currently living and working in Glasgow.
2020 and the beginning of lockdown marked for him one of the most creative periods of his life. Lockdown provided the time and space for the creative seed to nurture and blossom. Much of his work is directly linked to daily walks in the park or with direct connection to nature.
Donald is currently exploring the digital medium as an expressive art form using the ipad Procreate and other digital applications. In 2021 Donald was selected by the Derfner Judacia Museum (New York) for an online digital exhibition entitled F11. Digital Paintings for Full Screen.
“Donald Hargrove’s lush landscapes are rendered with painterly strokes, textures and subtle colour gradations. Working from photographs, sketches executed both digitally and on paper, pure imagination or en plein air, Hargrove approaches digital art in the same way as traditional painting, describing it as working with “pixels rather than paint.” He began exploring the medium for the first time during the pandemic” - Derfner Judacia Museum.
Hargrove's comments on his work
Landscape of origins
"The exhibition ‘Landscape of origins’ explores my relationship with two landscapes dear to me, the dry rocky grasslands of Zimbabwe, and the lush and rugged landscape of Scotland. Common to them both is a raw vital energy and a strong connection to nature. It is this vital energy which I seek to express through every aspect of the painting using a range of technique within the digital medium. In essence this exhibition is a celebration of life, and of being alive with connection to the natural world. "
"I use a range of processes in the making of my paintings.
I enjoy direct observational drawing as an exercise a direct connection to life and means of meditation. At times I sketch outdoors directly onto the ipad. Mostly though I photograph scenes, sometimes creating a montage of several views which I then use as my source material. Sometimes I hold closely to that reference and others it’s a mere a starting point.
Through the course of the painting, I will often ‘carve’ through one layer to another working blindly creating in a kind of controlled accident. The gift of the unexpected is what can for me make a painting. On other occasions I work completely without reference, using a combination of memory and imagination. In this case as the painting progresses, I may find references to support the imagery.
Another technique I use is to begin with a random textured surface. With that surface established I ‘extract’ the images that present themselves in much the same way as we find ‘figures’ in clouds.
Once the painting is underway though it is the painting that becomes the director. My role as the artist is to ‘listen’, observe and respond to the visual discourse as it arises, using the accident as a vital part of the creative process.
A painting needs the unexpected, accidents can offer that, controlled or otherwise. Other times near annihilation occurs and it can be these ‘lows’ in a painting where the essence of a painting reveals itself. In many ways I continue to paint in the traditional manner just using a different medium, pixels rather than paint, but with the benefit of a miriad of extra tools to play with."
Learn more on https://www.donaldhargrove.co.uk.