Artists > Laurence Belbin
Gallery LeFort welcomes the highly popular Dorset artist, Laurence Belbin for a solo show.
Laurence Belbin is a painter of light and atmosphere. He has a fascination with sunlight, especially on water. His paintings of Venice, the beach and the sea are full of light. His landscapes and interiors also sparkle and his handling of paint is both sensitive and expressive. Most of his work is painted on location where he captures the immediacy of people on a beach against the light and colour of windbreaks and tents, the activity of the Grand Canal on a sunlit day and the dazzling sunlight on the every-changing surface of the sea. His paintings are a celebration of light.
My work is about light and reflection. The motifs I choose to paint are selected for the sole purpose of expressing the sensation of light. Figures on a beach along with colourful windbreaks are only there so that I can emphasise the brightness of sunlight, not because I like to paint windbreaks for the sake of it. Partial silhouettes also bring out the brightness through their contrast. I view the mooring poles on a Venice canal in the same way that I view a figure whose legs are silouetted against the pinpoints of an incoming wave. With interiors my approach is likewise, chair legs, easels, all against the light. A polished table top can have the same effect of bringing the light through the painting to the viewer as that of wet sand on a beach, place something on the table and the sensation can be even greater. Flowers are, to me, like windreaks, the light floods through the petals and the solid stems equal the poles that hold the windbreak together.
A slight departure from the light aspect of my work is the obsession I have with water. When I paint water, unless threre is bright sunlight bouncing around, I concentrate more on the qualities of the reflection and the surface of the water rather than the brilliance of the sunlight. My river paintings tend to be more about depth of relection and the way the colours and tones alter when reflected. But sometimes I just like the view!.
The sensation I am continually trying to achieve is that rather than paint a picture of light, I paint the illusion of the light itself. By placing certain colours next to each other the sensation is that the painting becomes the light source, and the longer one looks, the brighter it becomes until a dazzling effect is perceived.
Working on location and interpreting the tonal qualities found, represent a visual sensation of light that is to me to experience nature's wonder. Those subtle tonal changes in isolation are abstracts. Each one relies on its neighbour for its visual effect and then in turn relies on the whole, making figurative work far more interesting than some may think.
In my work the only subject I have is light and I use the objects that I find between my subject and me to increase that sensation.
Painting Venice is an enjoyable as my other work. The life and activity on the Grand Canal, the quieter, private aspect of the side canals all bathed in an envelope of soft sunlight makes Venice something very special.