Ian Bishop

My pictures have people as a focus, solitary or grouped and usually with some contextual background. Figurative work provides the chance of something fresh each time, reflecting the infinite diversity of human life. I find that a wondrous thing.

I am self taught. When I packed up work I remembered a modest talent, a facility, from school days in Nottingham. I wondered if I could find it again and where it would take me.

It took ages. There were endless rounds of slow ‘ups’ and rapid ‘downs’, of conviction and doubt. Application and persistence were key, along with a happy critical eye (not an angry one), that and simply having something that you need to express.

I start with a pencil drawing which I then scan and develop to a digital painting. I often blend in ‘texture’ derived from photographs I take for the purpose. Such textural material itself needs quite a lot of work so that it does its job in the picture. A picture generally takes around ten days to complete. At the moment I am tending to produce smaller works, around 20 by 15cms. They are something you look into,  rather than something that looks out at you. They are a window to someone or somewhere else.

I have exhibited locally in Sheffield in the Cupola and Bessemer2 galleries. In addition I had a picture accepted in the Ferens Gallery in Hull for their City of Culture open exhibition.

What have I found in my work? Nothing I could easily put it into words. It certainly isn’t about cutting edges or hard hitting social or political agendas. It’s quieter and more personal, the development of an idea or an experience to offer a glimpse into something that would otherwise be lost.

In terms of materials, I use Canon Lucia pigment inks, Hahnemuhle bright white photo rag cotton fine art paper (310 gsm) and for mounting, Daler-Rowney acid free board.