Lewis Noble

Capturing something of the landscape is a peculiarly English preoccupation, be it in paint or music, poetry, prose, or photography.

The landscape paintings of Constable and his magnificent skies are echoed in Lewis Noble’s fascination for large skies and their changing forms, while his free use of paint and its dissolving textures might remind us of Turner’s canvases in which winds and storms, mists and smoke seem to end up as an exploration of paint itself. The energy and physicality of Lewis’s technique of applying paint, whether with a brush or palette knife, and the importance of gesture, also brings him close to Abstract Expressionism. But the references to other artists and schools are so completely absorbed within his own work that any attempt to label him as post-this or post-that are futile.

Lewis’s landscapes are not at all picturesque, for he is in search of a more profound truth, namely the beauty of his landscape’s perennial toughness. – John Casken

Lewis Noble has lived and worked in Derbyshire since 1996. Over this time he has built a reputation as one of central England’s foremost artists. His focus lies in the physical and emotional impact of the landscape on the senses and how it the experience of being in landscape effects us as human beings.

The result is a body of work that speaks to the very heart of what it means to be part of the environment around us.

“This work is drawn mostly from the landscape near my home in the Peak District, and the coastal landscape of Cornwall. It’s essential for me to paint outside, as the main theme of the paintings is the experience of being in the landscape so all of the smaller paintings are completed on location. The atmosphere of the place is the real subject. I will often return to the same location many times, reworking paintings, until they start to give back some of the felling I am looking for.

Sounds and other sensations can also be very important in the work and and sometimes the titles will refer to and these and are usually references to things which occur to me as I am painting.”

I work using a mixture of watercolour, gouache and acrylic, using the different properties of each to build up a layered surface which can be worked into, scored and worked over. I think of the process of applying, removing and reapplying paint is similar to the way the landscape itself is laid down over time, eroded and rebuilt by natural forces.

The canvases are painted in the studio over time and are usually a combination of different sketches and paintings. Rather than working up any individual sketch, I try to make these say something about the landscape as a whole.”