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Title Road to Choupeaux
Collection fineart.ac.uk
Artist Ian Potts
Nationality British
Description Without obvious intention, I have explored various locations around the Mediterranean. These seemed to have happened in the summer vacation while on holiday and away from the demands of the Art Education process, or during Sabbatical study leave. These include:-

Italy, where I was engrossed by the light and shade of the marble quarries near Carrara, where I produced folders of Indian ink wash drawings. I also undertook numerous studies of bathers on the Tuscan beaches near Pietra Santa.

In Greece, the focus was on wash drawings from the Acropolis and in Egypt covered a journey from Cairo to Aswan with 159 catalogued watercolours.

In France, my attention was drawn to the wide slow flowing rivers and woodlands, particularly during those parts of the day when the air is still.

Set next to these, I undertook a series of Torver Beck, near Coniston in Cumbria. In these, the sense of the rush of water, the light and sounds of springtime, are contrasted.

Recently, a series of watercolours was the result of a visit to Venice and its waterways.

Early works hinted at a stop and start engagement as a result of full-time employment with its demands, while the later work is better bolted together in full-time studios at home or in France.

'The Road to Choupeau' was undertaken at a point when the wash drawings had subsided and watercolours took their place. The objects in the landscape were not drawn in then coloured, but their colour and totality of position flowed in directly from the brush, hence much work and testing occurred on the palette itself.

In the main, my visual interests seem to be activated or awakened by experiencing and exploring certain specific places or new environments.

Generally, different places visited result in a group of works which are thematic or have a tilt in content which casts an overall visual topic. In this sense, I see my work as a visual exploration and not as visual research. I feel I am part of the historical development of English landscape painting and it is through experience that I find I am closer to my interest with watercolours set next to the medium of oil painting.

I undertake these themes or variations in painting, often repeating specific subject matter more than once without creating an exact copy as the life forces within a single painting do not follow the same track or end with the same result. There are about six paintings or studies of the Road to Choupeau" and as time passes, my relationship to them can change from one to another for one reason or another. This, the largest version of the subject, was undertaken in situ at a time when I had set up my French studio.

For me, two issues contend in promoting watercolour. First, I need to structure the work so that I can work from light and move through steps of time to arrive at darkness. I utilise the whiteness of paper and through the luminosity of transparent colour and construct layer upon layer of deepening colour. This demanding process leaves little space for error.
Secondly, the portability of the medium is relatively simple. Materials are light, dry fast, and the colour range is outstanding. I prefer very thick white paper with a hard grained surface, and this enables me to engage in my visual battle." Ian Potts
Cultural Context English & French
Location Current Site The Aldrich Collection at the University of Brighton
Measurements Dimensions 440 x 600 mm
Material watercolour
Biography 1978: British Council Painting Nominee to Yugoslavie (Prelep, Macedonia)
1980-81: Worked on a series of studies - ‘Sunlight in the Marble Quarries, Carrara
1982: Worked on series - ‘Sunlight in Marble Quarries, Arni', Iraly
1983: Murol, France - painted series of colour studies - ‘View for a Window with Castle'
1986: Educational visit to USA - report on Comparative View of Art Education, USA/UK
1988: CNAA Course Review Validation Committee - Humberside
1996: Retired from teaching
Education Sunderland College of Art (NDD)
Royal Academy Schools (RA Certificate)
British School, Athens
Awards 1984: Sabbatical Study Tour of Egypt - sites around Cairo and the Nile
1979: Italian Institute Research Award - Italy sketchbook, drawings, Tuscany.
1977: Greek Government Research Scholarship, Athens
1976: Italian Institute Travel Award - lecture, films (1) The Marble Quarries, (2) Artists and Artisans working in marble, (3) Marble Industries
Other Activities Professional, Consultative, Commissions
1998: Summer Painting Course, Bath, Chapel Row
1997: Bite, Food Festival, Bath
1996: Saatchi and Saatchi, Harvey's Bristol Cream, Blue Bottle project commission
1988: Commissioned by Wine Arts to visit the Rhone in preparation for a publication covering the vinyards, ‘Cote Rotie'
1985: Proposed as Advisory Member to CNAA Art and Design Board
1984/85: Consultative Adviser to Daystar Garden Project - Sun Dial Garden, N. Ireland Development
1982/83: Arts Council Adviser to Video Film Committee
1980/81: Member of Exhibition Committee, Gardner Arts Centre, University of Sussex
Visual Arts Bursary Adviser to South East Arts Association
1979/80/81: Visual Arts Adviser, South East Arts Association
1977/79: Chairman, Visual Arts Directorate, Gardner Arts Centre, University of Sussex
1977: Adviser to Arts Council study - The Arts Centres, UK
1976: Brighton Festival Committee
Institution University of Brighton
Rights Owner Ian Potts
Rights Status UK HE use only
Technique watercolour
Work Type painting



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