An exquisite and singular book that presents an award-winning international artist’s personal view about how paintings are conceived, made and interpreted.
With a career stretching four decades, award-winning British artist Paul Winstanley has established an international reputation for his highly atmospheric photorealistic paintings of empty non-descript places and anonymous figures. According to the chief art critic of the Los Angeles Times, his carefully balanced minimalist compositions conjure ‘a lovely, contemplative expressiveness’, while Time Out New York wrote that ‘with considered – and considerable – nuance and deftness, [he] makes a case for the continuing relevance of painting and its capacity for translating seeing into feeling’. Now Winstanley turns to the medium of writing to translate his experience of painting into words. Taking fifty-nine of his own works as a starting-point, he presents a series of episodes that together reveal what it means to conceive, make and think about paintings as an artist. Among the varied subjects that he considers are how a painter seeks out and finds inspiration in life and the world; the relationship between observed and depicted realities; what constitutes ‘truth’ in a painting; how to approach conceptual and technical challenges; the role of the viewer in the transaction at the heart of painting; and the belief systems that lie behind the business of creating and looking at paintings. The result is an exquisite personal account of the art and craft of making painted images today.