It’s not what you add to the work — it’s what you take away. So says artist Ian Harrold, who gave a talk on his printmaking work at the Porthminster Gallery on Saturday afternoon.
This was the second talk I’d been to in two weeks as I continue on my steep art learning curve. Last week’s by Sara Dudman was fascinating and Ian was just as entertaining, talking about his previous life as a jewellery maker and TV designer (he’s worked on several Rick Stein series).
“I got involved in print making about five years ago at the Porthmeor Studios, above the Penwith, which is a great little studio,” he said. “With print making you follow through a sequence of events and even if you don’t feel terribly creative, you will get a result.”
With his oil prints he’s building up layer upon layer of paint, often over a period of a year, and the art is not knowing what to add but what to scrape off. Chisels and electric sanders are in this artist’s armoury.
Cornwall has been an inspiration. “You don’t have to look very far for the palette,” he said, looking out of the window. “It’s not a deliberate thing. It’s the light. It’s been said a million times. But it does get into you, this place.”
A lot of the works have been sold in pairs. “I paint in pairs They tend to make themselves into pairs. And it’s very often a couple who come along who want something to take away together as a memory.”
Many people have said they like the way the works make them feel. “I don’t try to paint landscapes which are very specific or can only be one thing.,” said Ian. “Because, hopefully, one day they won’t be mine, they’ll be somebody else’s.”
The prints can be seen in the Porthminster Gallery and sit well alongside the venue’s current Festival into Fall, which runs until October 13 and features the aforementioned Sara Dudman, Erin Ward, and Lara Scobie.
• Porthminster Gallery, Westcott’s Quay, St Ives TR26 2DY
01736 795888 www.porthminstergallery.co.uk