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Art Works: Colin Anthony Robson

7 March 20 words: LeftLion

Painter and designer Colin Anthony Robson tells us about his work, Prelude...

One of my earliest memories is of seeing the sea for the first time as my dad drove over the brow of Sussex Hill when I was four or five years old. The horizon and the mystery of what lies beyond it really stirred something in me. Maybe all island people feel this to some degree but, for me, that first wondrous sight of seemingly endless space was truly breathtaking, and I’ve been chasing that sensation in my work ever since. 

As a painter and designer (as well as drummer and recovering Remainer!) I love the magical, ephemeral effect of light on our environment so every painting is an adventure for me and I’m experimenting and learning all the time. One of the biggest challenges with creating Prelude came simply from having to leave a warm bed to face the blank canvas. 

I worked in publishing for years before painting full-time. The solvents used in traditional oils affected my breathing so I only exhibited small landscape watercolours. I’d always wanted to paint larger (I prefer 76cm or 90cm square) and tried using acrylics without much success. Now that water-based oil paints are available, I still use the traditional watercolour technique: layers of thin glazes to build up colours that allow the underpainting to glow through. After all the hours of self-doubt and fretting, I’m always surprised when a painting suddenly tells me it’s finished! 

When it comes to plans for the future, all I want to do is keep going and enjoy the ride.


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