New paintings by Dorian Spencer Davies on show in Tenby
Dorian Spencer Davies’ work, to be exhibited throughout July at the White Lion Street Gallery in Tenby, is based on his thorough training in drawing, his subsequent career in illustration of children’s books, and an appreciation of the simplicity of British naive artists. He has achieved an instantly recognisable style, his paintings being sought after for making unique presents to commemorate retirements, engagements and weddings, special places and events, as well as to stock galleries across Wales.
At first glance Dorian’s paintings appear simply simple and quirky, the brilliant colour being immediately attractive and subject matter easily accessible - castles or lighthouses, townscapes, harbours and boats. Closer examination shows the cleverness: using a series of arcs as a distorting basis Dorian still manages to create enough ‘space’ between elements of the painting for it to work as a landscape, rather than as a flat design.
The artist grew up in Angle and Pembroke, attending Bush school through to sixth form, then going on to Dyfed College, Carmarthen, to undertake illustrative art courses in Botanical and Natural History. It was here he learned to observe carefully and draw accurately, a skill that sustained his career with London publishers Dorling Kindersley for many years and now as a freelance artist and illustrator.
During the late 1990s he returned to Wales in order to devote his time fully to painting again. He started off near Newquay, Ceredigion and spent many years in Tenby before relocating recently to Llanelli. He is still greatly inspired by the coastline of Pembrokeshire. 'I think growing up in this idyllic, unspoilt relatively remote coastal village may have had a larger influence on my work than I realised. I remember vividly the various boats in the Haven and being fascinated with everything to do with the sea.'
His new acrylic and mixed-media work is less familiar: these paintings are on canvas, are larger, textured and are more free and imaginative in approach.
Sea, sky and surf feature in both long views and close observations of the coastline with exciting, expressive brush and knife work and the use of bold colour, blues predominating.
Together the two contrasting styles show Dorian’s background in illustration and his confident and skilful development into another genre. With more than 60 paintings on show in his latest exhibition in Tenby, both old and new aficionados of his work will be satisfied.
Everyone is invited to come and meet Dorian who will be in the gallery from 2pm until 4pm on Saturday 1st July. He is looking forward to meeting friends old and new. For further details telephone 01834 843375. The entire exhibition can be viewed on the gallery website: www.artmatters.org.uk