09/05/2015 - 30/05/2015
acrylic on canvas
130.00 x 120.00 cm
JAMES SMEATON: SUBMERGING ARTIST
... James Smeaton has been painting consistently now for more than three decades… The aqueous and Zen-like title Sweeping Water is well matched to these canvases, for they contain sweeping ‘one stroke’ brush marks that conjure the vigorous dynamics of the seas…
Despite the crisp delineations, the paintings have been created through a series of complex and indeed haptic layers of acrylic. In many of Smeaton’s canvases a dark impasto layer is buried like sediment beneath a sun-bleached topcoat of seductive pale pink or blue. Once these veneers have dried the artist sets to work, excavating with finely graded emery and wet-on-dry. This is laborious activity yet the results are generally more suggestive of nature taking its course, producing what it will through the actions of element upon element: wind and water and sun and the insidious caresses of finely powdered beach sand…
Smeaton however is not only a painter of accumulation and layers; he is an artist who in face of the seas and oceans that perennially draw him and the artworks that embody those experiences, seeks to reveal and celebrate the depths and hidden dimensions.
Written by Damian Smith, 2015
- The full version of the above essay is available upon request.