This week we introduced new artist Chris Ross Williamson and his characterful collection of limited edition prints to the Collier & Dobson portfolio – so there's no time like the present to get to know the artist a little better.
Showing a talent for art during his school years, Chris later studied illustration at Barnfield College, Luton. As a qualified illustrator and trained graphic designer, Croydon-born Chris spent the majority of his career in design and advertising, and now paints full time in his studio on the Corton cliffs, in coastal Suffolk.
The move to his current studio was a recent one, having previously been working out of Barton Le Clay, in Bedfordshire. The panoramic sea views from his new creative space are clearly met with much enthusiasm and artistic spark. As he says “I’m hoping to experience the seasons and elements in all their glory, and to perhaps do some cloud and sky studies a la John Constable”.
It is evident that Chris draws inspiration from his surroundings, and he says that he's always armed and ready with a sketchbook – especially when on holiday – ready to capture scenes and stories as they unfold. His trips to the coast are clearly reflected in his work, which collectively feature moody seascapes, light-drenched beach backdrops, crooked cottages, and panoramic coastal scenes.
Chris' paintings have a quirky 'reportage' artistic style, with an engaging sense of fun. His highly narrative compositions are formed of panels - primarily ‘modular’ (based on 12” or 24” squares with varieties in-between) and individually sized or gessoed using various emulsions. “I prefer to paint on panel as opposed to canvas because I find it more forgiving. You don’t have a canvas tooth to worry about and painting on it isn’t as spongey”.
Chris uses a large palette of oil colours and prefers Winsor & Newton. However, the observant may have noticed that Chris sometimes mixes metallics (silver, copper or gold) into the paint. As he says "I find it makes things shimmer - particularly the sea, and it shows quite well after varnishing”.
Often described as 'whimsical', his work usually involves an atmospheric land or seascape, populated with characters, such as the gaunt and dry-humoured ‘Garfield’, along with his faithful Jack Russell – ‘Barton Darcy’...and it is worth noting that Garfield has recently been joined by a female companion, ‘Babs’!
Virtually all of Chris' work is accompanied by a humorous ‘dittie’ – a four line poem about the world as Barton Darcy the Jack Russell sees it – a 'dog's eye view' if you will. The poems themselves evolve from the annotations of Chris' initial sketches.
His work can now be found in numerous galleries in his local area, and he also exhibits regularly in Southwold, Cromer, London and Cambridge. Increasingly collectable, his work is published as greetings cards and, we are very
pleased to say, now as Fine Art limited edition prints.
Head over to his artist page on our website to browse and buy from his full collection and keep up to date with the latest news and videos about this exciting new artist.