Andrew McCutcheon


1978 – 79 Dyfed College of Art, Carmarthen: Art Foundation Course, 1979 – 82 Bristol Polytechnic: BA (Hons) Graphic Design
I was a reluctant student of Graphic Design. Although my interest lay more in Fine Art, at the time I lacked the courage and discipline to change courses. Following graduation in 1982 I embarked on a career in design but clung to the hope that at some stage I would focus my attention on painting. An escape to the Scottish Highlands provided the time and space for some much needed introspection. The impact of the landscape and the freedom from deadlines and design briefs transformed my yearning to paint into a compulsion. Early paintings were dominated by interpretations of the landscape with several Welsh locations returned to, explored and referenced. Not being concerned with representation I developed my fascination with colour and the formal elements of texture, shape and tone. Visits to Cornwall and numerous Pembrokeshire locations directed my attention to the small harbours dotted along the coastline. I have been fascinated by the ebb and flow of tides, the shapes of resting and floating vessels, the industry and detritus associated with such constantly changing environments. Occasionally, I respond to the colours and patterns within my home. I never formally set up a ‘still life’, preferring instead to absorb and digest, allowing the painting to dictate its course. My current practice is becoming increasingly intuitive; moving away from subject matter and not anchored by any particular place. Compositions often contain suggestive links to subjects but these are soon provoked by non descriptive shapes and patterns. There are times when restraint and austere, primal mark making is demanded but more often, my paintings involve expressive gesture and evolve through a physical process of building and destroying, layering and revealing, balancing chaos with order using combinations of media until shapes, lines and textures emerge and juxtaposed colours interact.
Always, however, venturing to paint more than we can see.