My work in watercolour trys to capture blends of colour, texture and form from within the everyday working lives of small-scale artisanal tradesmen, mostly in the city of Istanbul. I take a ringside place in their workshops, garages and yards.
Tools and implements used in such places, bear marks and wear arising from continual use. The textures and tones which inhabit such scenes tell of the passing of time and the formation of places of character and authenticity. The market pressure under which services are provided, money is earned, and goods produced, ferment unique, genuine scenes of lived human lives.
My paintings of shoes, boots, gloves and tools are tokens of the lives of people to whom they belong. I usually paint items or scenes which have a close connection with the people I know; their lives and stories often haunting the visual images I produce. The act of portraying certain scenes and objects can provoke an intriguing dialogue with the very people who work or live in these places. This serves to deepen and enrich the creative journey and invite further connection between the artist, viewer and craftsperson.
I hope that viewers are drawn into the lives and contexts of the subjects I portray therefore encouraging them to look more closely and maybe sense something of the stories my paintings can only hint at. David Poxon, Angus MacEwen and George Politis have inspired my watercolour technique. I’m fascinated by Shanti Panchal and Georgia O’Keefe’s use of colour and I have been strongly influenced by photograhers like Ara Güler
My work strives to express respect and connection with the scenes I paint. I feel a sense of reward when my artistic endeavour draws those involved in the scenes I paint to engage in the artistic process and thus feel understood and welcomed into what for them is often an alien world.
Ewen MacDonald works in watercolour and acrylic. Many of his paintings are inspired by the lives of men working with their hands in small-scale industry. His work in watercolour focuses on the objects and scenes from their work and the texture of their lives. There is narrative, humanity and context behind each work and together they are part of a conversation with the people whose lives offer the inspiration.
The city of Istanbul is host to most of the exhibitions Ewen has been a part of. He has exhibited with the Royal Institute for Painters in Watercolour at the Mall Galleries London and also with the Royal Watercolour Society. He has been involved in many arts projects in the city of Istanbul and also in London curating events for aspiring artists, photographers and creatives.
Ewen has a degree from University College London and a teaching diploma from the Institute of Education London University, he was born in the UK in 1967, worked in London, Kashgar and Istanbul.
Istanbul March 2021
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