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The landscape is a real one, not imagined but translated – Philip Tyler for BeArte Gallery

Philip Tyler
Philip Tyler self-portrait

Philip Tyler is an English artist and teacher of visual research and colour theory, who in one of his interviews said about himself: “I draw, paint, make prints and work digitally as well as take photographs”.

He has a track record of exhibiting work both nationally and internationally since the mid 1980s and his work has exhibited in The Ruth Borchard Self portrait prize,  ING Discerning Eye, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, The Lynn Painter-Stainers prize, The Garrick Milne Prize, The Royal Overseas league, East, The National Open and the Whitworth young contemporary’s competitions.

His work is in both public and private collections in this country as well as in America Australia Finland Hong Kong and Sweden, including Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Peterborough Museum as well as being collected by Brian Sewell

Campanent by Philip Tyler
Campanent by Philip Tyler

Since May, Philip Tyler has been a member of the BeArte Gallery and together with other English artists has been presenting his landscapes on canvas.

What is most amazing is that Philip creates such unique landscapes with eye-catching colour combinations, despite the fact that he is colour blind.

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Beata Piechocka: Can you tell our visitors how your adventure with art began, why did you become an artist?

Philip Tyler: The decision to become an artist was not one which happened quickly. I began drawing properly about the age of 7 and I took my studies very seriously once I went to secondary school. I was lucky enough to have two fantastic art teachers who guided me through my final years at school and onto and Art Foundation in east London. As a working-class kid, the idea of being an artist was outside of my experience, so I was focusing on becoming an art teacher. It was only in the final year of my degree at Loughborough College of Art and design that the idea of being an artist became a serious one I have strived to push myself and my work ever since.

BP: With what direction, the trend of art you identify or associate yourself the most?

PhT: I am really not interested in trends or fashion in the art world. The internet is full of images of people adopting mannerisms and approaches to look current. I’m only really interested in responding to the emotional situations I find myself in.

BP: What motivates you to make artistic work?

PhT: Of course, I am inspired by the work of other artists.  I want to be the best artist that I can be and the only way I can do that is to match myself against the very best.  When I am painting I completely lose myself, It’s the place where I can truly be me and forget my concerns.

Overlooking Findon by Philip Tylor
Overlooking Findon by Philip Tylor

BP: You cover many topics in your artworks, self-portraits, also portraits of stars, landscapes, and views of cities. Which of these topics is the closest to you and why?

PhT: I tend to work in series and at any one time I am completely absorbed by the subject. When I am painting landscapes I am obsessed by them, when painting portraits, I am obsessed with that.  But my self-portraits are probably the things that I am the most obsessed with, whilst the landscape have a real emotional resonance with me because they were made after my father died.

BP: In one of your interviews, to the question about an experience in your life which influenced your art, you mentioned the loss of loved ones and the birth of your daughter. These are different occasions which bring different emotions, sadness, loss and joy. Just like life. How these personal events influenced your art? Can you share a bit more about it with our readers?

PhT: Painting can be used as a cypher fore complex ideas. The ability to channel whatever ones feels into work is challenging, but if one is able to do this then one will always work, whether you are happy, sad or indifferent, you can always make work

BP. When I look at your work, I feel that regardless of whether you are painting the sky, face or streets of cities, you are painting a portrait. I mean, it’s not just a physical resemblance or an impression of reality on the canvas. It seems to me that you want to convey the essence of the object you paint, both physically and mentally or maybe even metaphysically, even if it concerns the clouds. What do you think about my interpretation of your art, how compatible is it with what you paint?

PhT: Yes, I think that I want to capture the essence and the spirit of a place or a person.

BP: Great Britain has a beautiful tradition of landscape painting. The most famous and known to the world are Turner, Gainsborough and Constable. Turner,  painted the impressions even before the Impressionists, Gainsborough is known for his portraits of the landed gentry, also dreamed about the rural village and painted romantic, often creating, idyllic landscapes. Constable went away from embellishing of what he saw and painted the truth: realistic, natural and chaotic landscapes. Among these three artists, whose style is the closest to you and why?

PhT: I think that I feel more of a connection with Constable in terms of his directness of approach.

Philip Tylers’ self-portraits

Philip Tyler
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Philip Tyler Selfportrait

BP: When I first saw your paintings, these were landscapes. However, I admire, for example; Your self-portraits, but most of my attention was caught by your way of depicting clouds. In my mind, maybe a little funny, I was calling you Lord of the Clouds, because that was my strongest impression after reviewing your artworks. What intrigues you in the landscapes that you want to paint them?

PhT: I grew up in London surrounded by tower blocks.  The landscape has poetic and romantic connotations for me as I first really got to grips with landscape painting once I left home for the first time.  The landscape also reminds me of the few family holidays I had as a child with my mum and dad. In more recent times landscape has a real emotional connection to me, especially after I lost my father and had to come to terms with the impact that had on me. I think that there is something uplifting and perhaps spiritual about being in a massive cloud and space it inhabits.

BP: Most artists paint other fragments of landscapes, e.g trees, groves, rivers. Why did you soar higher and have chosen clouds? What does the sky have in itself that Earth doesn’t?

PhT: I think that it is the sky that seems to capture everything I want, especially if there is a storm brewing, or has just dissipated.

Auctions

BP. Looking at your paintings, I can see that you’re using a unique palette. The colours, although not intensive, but are light. This is not a typical palette for the UK landscape, which is associated mainly with grey. Your landscapes remind me more of Italian views. Have you always been accompanied by such colours? Where does the intention of using this palette come from?

PhT: I think that there is a real difference between the colour that you see on the screen and the colour you see in the actual paintings. I am obsessed by colour and I teach colour, but I am also colour blind, so rather than thinking about what the colour is in the landscape, I am much more interested in what the colour can be.

BP: Do the colours you are using result from what you see or are they the result of a conscious and analytical decision? For example, for strengthening and balancing the composition?

PhT: Colour is explored in a systematic way in terms of my choice of the palette, but also used in an intuitive emotional way. The colours you see if often the top layer or many other colour decisions.

BP. The composition of your landscapes is for 70% of the sky and 30% of the land. It is also mainly horizontal. Is this a way to strengthen the effect of the presence of the clouds?

PhT: Yes I Iove the tension between opposites, empty space and gestural areas, hot against cold, soft against hard.

BP. In your paintings, it is difficult to look for some significant dominant elements, the main “heroes” of the landscape so to say. It’s hard to decide which element is important, except for the clouds. Is this your way of achieving the illusory effect, where space enclosed in the image format?

PhT: The landscape is a real one, not imagined but translated. I am often drawn to those Sussex views which disappear away toward the horizon, where not one thing is the single protagonist, but all parts contribute to the whole.

The cityscapes of London by Philip Tyler

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BP: At prestigious auctions of modern art, it is difficult to find many examples of landscape paintings. However, as the reports show, the landscapes are selling as one of the best topics among individual art lovers. What do you think, why landscapes are still so popular?

PhT: Landscape evokes many things in the viewer.  Whenever I have tried to paint a picture to sell I have failed.  I only seem to sell the paintings that come from my emotional response to the subject.

BP: Can you share your way of painting your landscapes? Do you paint in the open air, do you use photos or memory? Can you describe the stages of work?

PhT: All things are permissible and used. I draw and paint in the landscape, take thousands of photographs, make print and loads of colour studies. All of this then gets synthesized into a large painting.

BP: In which technique do you paint? Is it glaze, verdacio, alla prima, inpasto? And why?

PhT: All techniques are used to achieve different effects, vaporous clouds, trees, shadows, paths, rain, sunlight. You achieve these phenomena by adapting how the paint is applied, but the process of painting a landscape usually starts off in an explosive way with lots of energy being thrown at the canvas.

BP: How do you build the illusion of space on the image?

PhT: Physicality of paint, thinness, thickness, saturation, tonal contrast all of these things are the formal elements used to create space as well as the perspective of course.

BP: You wrote the book “Drawing and painting the landscape”. Lisa Takahashi gave an excellent review of this book. What prompted you to write a book about painting landscapes?

PhT: I have really enjoyed the process of writing and the books are an attempt to share my knowledge.  One day I am going to die and it is nice to think that alongside the paintings I leave behind my thoughts on drawing and painting have been recorded as well

BP: In the book, you give examples of your favourite artists. Can you tell our readers who they are and why you include them in a book about landscapes?

PhT: Virtually all the artists in my books are either artists I know personally, have shown at the same galleries or have admired online.  There are many good artists out there who do not always get the coverage they deserve.  The books provide an opportunity to promote their work

BP. Do you have any advice, suggestions for the beginner landscape painters

PhT Buy my second book and be prepared for failure. You learn from your mistakes, so the more that goes wrong the more you can learn from these.  You do not have to have a studio, not copious amounts of time.  You have to work with what you have but you will learn by making painting after painting

BP. What does a great painted landscape mean for you?

PhT: When you encounter a great painting, you are brought into contact with the person who made the work, you touch their spirit and their humanity.

Drawing and Painting the Landscape: A course of 50 lessons

Drawing and Painting the Landscape: A course of 50 lessons
By Philip Tyler
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: The Crowood Press Ltd (1 Sept. 2017)
Language: English

Contact us for purchase

Fulking escarpment by Philip Tyler
Fulking escarpment by Philip Tyler

BP: Does the process of teaching others to help you to develop your artistic skills? If it does, in what ways?

PhT: Sometimes, but equally teaching is very difficult. It is not always about what I do, more often than not I have to out my head into what the student is doing and figure out a way of working through their problem.  I have to be aware of a lot of art and design and a lot of ways of working if I am to guide the student in the right direction.

BP: Will you describe the fact that your works are in many foreign galleries around the world as the final artistic success? Or does it mean something different for you?

PhT: It is exciting to see that one’s work is spread around the world, but success is elusive.  How is this measured?  Is this about appearing in a major show, appearing in important magazines, being bought by major collectors?  If this is a success then I am a long way from this. If success is not having to teach every day, then that is what I am working toward

BP: What we as BeArte Gallery can wish you on your artistic path?

Ph.T. Having a more international presence and having worked in some museums and art galleries would be nice.

BP: Looking at your artworks, I’m sure it will happen.  Thank you for your time and we wish you will soon fulfil your plans.

From Devils Dyke by Philip Tyler
From Devils Dyke by Philip Tyler
Visit Philip Tyler

Explore landscapes from other artists at BeArte Gallery

Clouds by Ilona Primus - Ziarnowska
Clouds by Ilona Primus - Ziarnowska
Inverno I by J.Malinowski
Inverno I by J.Malinowski
After Battle by J.Haluch
After Battle by J.Haluch
Landscape with a Lake Agnieszka Rogowska Gallery BeArte
Landscape with a lake. Agnieszka Rogowska. Oil. 80 x 65 cm. 2018
Forest, March 2018 by David Harrison
Forest, March 2018 by David Harrison

About the Author:

I am a co-owner of BeArte Gallery, art marketspace based in Denmark. I have an art education and I paint myself. I am also a part-time paint teacher for artists amateurs. Communing with art and contact with the artists is what moves me in life. Without art, my life would be devoid of emotions, higher meanings. I believe that thanks to Art, each of us has a chance to touch an absolute.

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