Russell Dorey
I assemble loosely balanced groups of objects recombining a cast of familiar objects as characters in shallow, deliberately limited space.
I usually make an accurate plotted drawing for each painting. Drawing seems to be work, like building a wall and I start drawing knowing that I can finish. Drawing is my scaffolding. Painting is different; more like juggling.
Working analytically I try to bind the objects together into an architecture of form and colour.
Sometimes I will paint the same passage day after day; I might scrape the canvas down and repaint the same transition of light into shadow, trying to understand how the shapes fit together to describe the space, hoping that the surface will mesh and watching for that alchemy as colour and tone become light.
Some of these canvasses have been worked at for months and a just a few arrived like gifts, like photographs emerging in developer.
These Still Lives are formal compositions. They are measured and plotted, reduced and balanced but I hope that they’re not dull and dry.
I think of paintings as poems or short stories and they’re peopled with the things I have around me, a cast of familiar characters: jugs, bottles, boxes and pots.
I involve photographic images in compositions so that I can play with spaces set within spaces and so that I can get the whole world onto my shelf.
My work is almost exclusively Still Life. I had a second studio in a house in L'Herault, the deep south West of France , a place to work with intense and reliable sunlight and in all my years in France I hardly painted outside (which sounds like a missed opportunity).
I discovered Cezanne when I was at Art school and the things he was doing in his painting gave me my first glimpse 'under the bonnet' at what painting might be.
My left eye doesn’t work; it was damaged in an accident when I was two years old so I don’t know what it is to have bifocal vision. This probably engendered my interest in how we see and what we perceive. 







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