Martin Richard Davis - fine artist in oils
I am an ex-firefighter turned painter working as a freelance artist for 6 years since my retirement from the Service. Already well known locally my wider reputation is beginning to attract critical acclaim with submissions to professional competitions regularly being shortlisted.
I work from my studio at home in Swanwick, Derbyshire.
Examples of my work are currently on display in Derbyshire UK at Whitepeaks Fine Art Gallery in Dunston, Chesterfield, Cromford Studio & Art Gallery, Cromford and at Leabrooks Gallery, Leabrooks.
I was born 18th Dec 1954 and brought up in Shirebrook in the north east of Derbyshire in the 1950’s and 60’s. Creating images has always been a form of escapism and I developed a love of painting and drawing from an early age. Art has become a private passion I've carried with me ever since.
After university in Birmingham and a brief spell in finance I joined the Fire & Rescue service... a career I completed 30+ yrs later in 2007. I only turned fully to painting from 2008 after I left the fire service and found time to devote to it.
Sharing my inspiration
Painting is a kind of ecstasy for me, an intense & personal struggle to bring to life on canvas a private world of accumulated memory. It can be exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. I like to exhibit & sell my work......but it's not why I paint; it never was. Painting for me just calms the soul. It's my private world.
There is a feeling of immediacy, of life, of connectedness, with painting that I don't get from anything else, so I feel I have to paint. It’s kind of hard-wired into me. I would describe myself as a modern traditionalist painter. I like to paint anything from portraits to landscape, figures to abstracts; but it’s a moving feast. I don’t stand still. At the moment my work is mainly figurative & I am exploring the overlap between abstract and realism and the ways this manifests itself in the boundary areas that define and exist between shape & form. There is so much in this that affects the way you see the world.
My compulsion to produce art is an emotional response to colour and form, but I’m also influenced by light and atmosphere in the things around me. How inspiration occurs and what triggers it is the key to the variety in my work. Specific subject matter is much less important for me than its emotional content at a purely aesthetic level. I’m not drawn especially to specific things such as boats or figures, or buildings, or any whole thing. Rather I find I can be attracted to bits of anything - the shape of a hat, the way a shadow lies across an object tantalisingly concealing it, a glint of light or an unexpected but delightful bit of colour. In my experience such things are very rarely comprised in the whole of something.
There is an inner beauty, a sort of “heroic” quality, inside everything if you look hard enough – it doesn’t have to be something intrinsically pretty, or attractive or especially worthy of attention. Quite often it is better if it isn’t.
I try to use colour and my love of form to raise the spirits. One of my abiding hopes is that art can, like music, serve to engender a greater sense of wellbeing - in observer and creator alike. I believe that art at its best can be a simple, joyful experience as well as a vehicle for asking fundamental questions about what it is to be human. I would summarise my approach to art in two words – no boundaries.
2010 – shortlisted National Art of Giving Competition, Saatchi Gallery, London
2011 – shortlisted Saatchi Online Showdown competition
2012 – shortlisted National Open Art Competition, Chichester
Nov 2013 – Winter Inspirations Group Exhibition, Rainbow Gallery, DH Lawrence Heritage Centre, Eastwood, Nottingham
Apr 2014 – People & Places. 1st Solo Exhibition, Rainbow Gallery, DH Lawrence Heritage Centre, Eastwood, Nottingham