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by Drew Darcy
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I was born in Shrewsbury, 1976 – the eldest of twin boys. It was one of the hottest and driest summers ever recorded in the UK. Being a son of a doctor and a nurse, I always felt I was in safe hands right from the start. My artistic flare may well have been passed down from my mother's side. She was one of a family of ten children. Music and art was a central part of growing up in Dublin. My grandfather was from five generations of tailors and trained in Savile Row to become a Bespoke Tailor. He had three shops in Ireland one of which was in historical Kilmainham, Dublin. On my fathers side, my grandfather was an industrial designer and skilled draughtsman. Thus the fabric of the artist was woven!
I can remember drawing from an early age, and was first introduced to oil painting at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire. I revelled in the fact that I could make my indelible mark on my own canvas, just like the great painters before me. Hundreds of hours were spent in the “Art Room”, where I learnt many of my techniques I use today. I was given a great freedom in my art classes and achieved grade A's in GCSE and A-level Art and Design. Moving to Birmingham, England, I successfully completed a BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design at Bournville Art College.
In 2002 I decided it was time to invest in myself and my artistic talent. I knew I wanted to create and I knew I had something to offer new into the art market. I dedicated my time into developing my own unique style. Music, fashion, film, photography, pop and advertising are a constant source of inspiration. The pin up genre of 1940’s-50’s in American illustration has also been an influence in my figurative work. Recently, after chat with Peter Blake at his "Under Milk Wood" exhibition, I have been exploring elements from the "Pop Art" movement. I admire many artists like Gil Elvgren, Helmut Newton, Andy Warhol, and Edward Hopper, to name but a few. I like to digest the artistic flavours from my favourite artists, absorb them and throw them all back in to the mix to make my own distinctive style.
Many hours are spent taking photographs, setting up scenes and gathering my resources. My figurative work is based around the female form. I often want my paintings to show some sexual allure and a sexual tension. I like to capture intimate moments in time, whilst still trying to keep a sense of movement and realism. Reference is collected using digital cameras. I can manipulate these images using my computer and can quickly realise my initial ideas on screen. I can then get a feel of what the final piece will look like, change colours, cut and paste. I embrace technology and love the fact that I can marry traditional methods with the modern and new. However, nothing compares with the magic that can be created with a simple brush stroke. No digital imagery or computer power can get even close to that invaluable human touch. I eagerly anticipate transposing my developed ideas onto canvas. In the time waiting for the paint to dry, music and song writing is another creative output for me. Music has always been a huge passion of mine. My studio has a microphone and guitar at arms reach. I find myself working at best with music, lyrics and canvas. I can easily lose myself as the hours rush by in this intense creative environment.
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THE HAWTHORN GALLERY
An independent fine art and picture framing gallery, family owned and family run, operating from the historic Hare & Hounds pub in Stalybridge, which has been sympathetically converted into a unique gallery experience.