Richard Rowan – Retracing Forgotten Steps

Richard Rowan has released three new limited edition pieces of work on glass for 2012, the collection is inspired by his late grandfather, here Rowan explains the thought process behind the work,

“Last year I uncovered a journal that belonged to my late grandfather, it lovingly described his travels and he went into great detail about all the sights and sounds of places he has visited – the bubbling billowing clouds pours up from the land, the sun stretches through to touch my cold face.”

“I was captivated and as I never has chance to meet and know the man I decided to retrace some of his steps. Each of these three new works are based on my grandfather’s drawings and his lengthy descriptions of Plymouth Dartmoor and Exmoor. When I re-visited these places I found that the skies and countryside mirrored his descriptions perfectly and I felt compelled to paint what he saw as well as what I felt. His memories has appears in my works and the titles are taken from excerpts of his descriptions, and are fitting for visited the scenes we both visited.”

“With my grandfather having spurred me on to paint this series, it was important to me that he be included within the work so he appears as a rambling figure in two of the paintings as I imagine him enjoying his longs walks.”

High Expectation by Richard Rowan

High Expectation by Richard Rowan

“From a design and fine art background in Northampton I went on to win the Daily Mail’s ‘Artist of the Year’ award in 1992. After finishing my training I found an artist life very difficult to establish and a designer’s one very frustrating. So after this I found myself in the motor sport business ranging from world rally to formula one – travelling worldwide for the next 5 years. Having seen so much of the world whilst doing this it changed my whole outlook on life, but I never put down my drawing pad constantly sketching cars and scenery at any spare moment. Never feeling quite at home constantly living out of a suitcase, I would produce art pieces when back at home and sell at local galleries which then brought in commissions from various people.”

Enlightened by Richard Rowan

Enlightened by Richard Rowan

Leaving the race track and ‘go go’ lifestyle behind has changed everything for me. For the last 3 years I have devoted all of my time to art on glass which is my preferred medium, using a unique style of oil painting as opposed to the more traditional canvas or board. I do like to challenge myself with difficult work. Painting oil on glass can make you want to tear your hair out, but is also satisfying at the same time. When I sit down to paint I want to paint better than the last time; pushing the boundaries of what I can do. Once I finish a painting I want people to look at the piece and be drawn in and find themselves lost in my work.”

Richard Rowan’s work is particularly unique not just in the style that he paints, but also the technique that he has taught himself. He works with oil paints on glass which requires a lot of patience and time, as it is a slow process. He places a piece of toughened glass on four posts, and works under the glass, working on the foreground first and the background last, so working in reverse to other artists.

Motionless by Richard Rowan

Motionless by Richard Rowan

For more information about Richard Rowan and his work visit

Richard Rowan at Artworx Gallery

Alternatively please ring 01543 502971 or email
Artworx Gallery, Cedars Business Park, Avon Road, Cannock, Staffordshire WS11 1QJ.

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