Jeff Rowland – The Romantic Rainmaker

Jeff Rowland is celebrated for his fantastic rainy scenes that offer a strong, yet open narrative. His work is very cinematic in composition and reveals a story, allowing the viewer to take their own interpretation of the scene. Having a fantastic eye for detail, Rowland works into each piece exposing the tiny details, like the splash back from the railings, the rain dancing under the street lights and the consciousness of intimacy. Jeff Rowland’s work is romantic, concentrating on two figures holding each other through the weight of the rain. Rowland often uses an umbrella to symbolise the unity of the couple, they are one. Could the couple be in love? Could it be an affair? It is for the viewer to decide.

What is interesting about Rowland’s work, is that it is loved and admired by people from all walks of life. Anyone that has felt love and intimacy can connect with his paintings.

A Stolen moment by Jeff Rowland

A Stolen moment by Jeff Rowland

“After studying art at North Tyneside College, I became self employed as a professional artist in 1984. I used this time to experiment with all medium including glass engraving, printing and painting, but always seemed to be drawn back to oil paint. Even as a child I can remember my grandmother using oil paint in a paint by numbers set. This caught my attention and I was fascinated with the medium. I always tried other mediums because I found the process of art exciting. At this time, I had a scatter gun approach to art, working in all areas and not really having any one medium to learn my craft. Times became difficult and I had to re-train. In 2000 I did a HND in advertising/illustration as a visualizer, studying at Newcastle. While there I worked on many live briefs and was successful in winning a NEPA award (North East Print Association).

After graduating and looking for work, I just could not keep away from art. I wanted one more try at being successful in art. After exhibiting in a Northumberland gallery, my artwork was taken to the London Affordable, where I had a sell out in one day. Things began to snowball. I exhibited in Edinburgh and in Dublin with equal success. Over the past two years, I have witnessed a change in my work. I feel that I have honed my efforts and skills into compositions that really express and convey a certain atmosphere or moment.”

Once Upon A Time by Jeff Rowland

Once Upon A Time by Jeff Rowland

“I have always been fascinated in two areas of art; the implicit meaning and the inspiration. I was inspired to paint a rain soaked street through films I saw at the cinema. I watched The Bridges of Madison County, a film about an accidental relationship between a man and woman. The film is always shot in beautiful sunshine, until the end, when the relationship has to end and the rain really falls, giving an implicit meaning that the relationship is being washed away. The Road to Perdition is another example. At the end of the film, relationships are ending, implied by the use of falling rain.

I like to let the viewer of the painting make their own mind up about what is happening with the characters in the composition. I like to add street signs pointing in two different directions suggesting that these two people are coming together, or are they splitting up? Maybe they are having an affair; is their love a secret or are they simply going back to the bar where they first met? This is also helped by composing the painting on a street corner. A view of two roads meeting or two paths crossing. In their relationship, has the bar become ‘their bar’? The viewer has the answer.”

A Time To Remember by Jeff Rowland

A Time To Remember by Jeff Rowland

“I find myself constantly looking at buildings wherever I go. Because the composition of my work could be anywhere or any street, it is a wonderful feeling to see a street corner bar, or restaurant and be completely excited about how I can create an atmosphere on that corner. I see old pub fronts or contemporary restaurants and I am completely hooked. By sketching or photographing the bar, I am ready to paint.

I first choose a canvas and decide whether it will be portrait or landscape. I then have a strange ritual I like to perform. Quite simply I run the palms of my hands over the tooth of the canvas and get a lovely feeling through my hands from the canvas, almost a personal connection between artist and material. Then, with a heavy graphite block, I begin to lightly knock in a horizon and areas where buildings will be. I then use my fingers to make marks and shapes giving me an overview of how the painting will look. I like to feel every part of the canvas. At this stage the work is at its most vague. Streaks, smudges and finger marks are just enough to allow me a glimpse of the finished work.

After fixing the graphite, I am ready to paint, mixing five or six colours on my palette. Using cerulean blue, ultramarine, Van Dyke brown, lamp black and titanium white, I create a spectrum of greys and cools blues. The application of these colours is applied vigorously to the canvas using a common decorator’s paint brush. I knock in all of the areas to create an undertone, then, always working from the background, I start to add suggestions of something going on. This may be a street sign, traffic, or street lights. I am now creating a perspective and depth of field. Working towards the middle distance and foreground, I apply the paint darker and heavier, pulling the foreground forward. At this stage I work on the bar front with its suggestion of light and perhaps a glimpse of the bar counter. After finishing the name of the bar, I can see where I want to place my characters or vehicle. Once they are in place I can now really enjoy applying the rain. I have developed a technique of stippling the paint with that common decorator’s brush. Because the brush is old and the hairs are split, I can achieve a wonderful effect which leaves paint marks that are not constrained to a uniform pattern. I can get the same effect from this brush with falling rain. I run the brush down the canvas using only the weight of the brush. The split hairs from the brush allow the strokes to become rain.”

Yours Truly by Jeff Rowland

Yours Truly by Jeff Rowland

For more information on Jeff Rowland and his work, please visit:

Jeff Rowland at Artworx Gallery

Alternatively ring on 01543 502971 or email on info@artworx.co.uk

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Comments
3 Responses to “Jeff Rowland – The Romantic Rainmaker”
  1. Rosalyn says:

    I trruly love your site.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you
    develop ths weebsite yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my
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    • Good afternoon Rosalyn,

      Thank you for your kind comments, we have adapted a theme with all our company colours to achieve the look for the gallery blog. Good luck with your own blog,

      Kind regards,
      Ashley Corrigan
      Artworx Gallery Manager

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