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Michael Sole at GX Gallery

Detail of Michael Sole's The Cuillins - oil and acrlic on canvas - 200 x 100cm.

Exhibition preview

FROM September 20 to October 8, 2014, GX Gallery is presenting an exhibition of new paintings by 2013 winner of The Royal Society of Marine Artists, Michael Sole, best known for his large, brave, striking and emotionally charged canvases of rolling, almost splashing, sea paintings.

This year’s show focuses on Sole’s trip to Scotland where he spent the time outside wandering, camping and avoiding giant rock falls on the Isle of Skye.

Sole’s major interest is nature and the re-evaluation of its painterly tradition. His work explores painting as a process using the great outdoors as a subject matter. To gain inspiration, he places himself into the environment he paints, enabling him to bring thoughts, ideas, and the physical presence of the landscape back into the studio as a transferral process.

As he explains: “When I see an evening or morning bright colourful sky, I have an uncontrollable urge to see if I can not only capture it but do it justice on a canvas. If I had already been able to, and had succeeded, then this urge wouldn’t be there in the first place.”

Sole attempts to replicate nature with oils and acrylics on canvas. Unlike most seascape painters he does not work from a palette, painting bit by bit which sadly, often creates what may be photographic but flat lifeless paintings. Instead, he works directly on the canvas bringing energy and movement to a work which is truer to the characteristics of sea.

As he again explains: “The painted layer is so wet and moveable thanks to the white paint. You can put so much expression into your movements which then obviously gets locked as the layer dries. It’s exciting to have a limited amount of time to perfect that layer, the only thing to watch out for is adding too much paint. Painting wet paintings is so much more exciting than painting onto dry paint. You have to build the next layer up so much so that the whole canvas is wet paint so the whole canvas can be ‘tied together’ and a huge feeling of satisfaction can be felt – there is no painting satisfaction when bits and pieces are added to that dried layer.”

Born in Dorset in 1985, educated at Wimbledon College of Art and graduating with a BA in 2008, Sole has gone on to exhibit in group and solo shows across Britain and France. Now a recognised name within contemporary British art his works continue to appreciate, with a loyal following of collectors. This is the fourth exhibition of his works in London. Sole’s dedication to research, constant commitment to overload and push the boundaries of paint, and his confidence are evident in this collection of land and seascapes.

GX Gallery, 43 Denmark Hill, London, SE5 8RS

Tel: +(0) 20 77038396