When I stopped work, I started painting. It was more of a chance decision than a premeditated plan, for I knew nothing about art beyond the bare essentials. Once the urge came upon me, I had little time for instruction or education.
I just wanted to get on with it and trust to my own instincts and intuition. With the familiar fervour of autodidacts past and present, I became absorbed and even obsessed.
I started small and modestly enough. But soon watercolours seemed too pale. Gouache seemed too dull. Acrylics seemed too plastic. Oils stole my heart because they are organic and full of life’s potential.
They can be bold and subtle, textured and dense, full of light and shadows. My brushes and canvases got bigger and now knives have edged their way in. Without realising quite how, I have found my way towards Naivety as a movement, the Scottish Colourists and Expressionism, all of whom continue to inspire.
My subject matter has never wavered. I am opinionated and curious about the human condition. At first my work was overtly political with paintings about loneliness and marginal lives. As I became more confident, the paintings became less explicitly political, the characters more diverse, more provocative, even abstracted.
Now I am less concerned with appearance and more concerned with character, feelings and interior emotions, in ways I hope will connect with those of you who view them. Having spent too long in academia, I now absolutely relish this bolder, more spontaneous, anti-academic type of painting.
As an emerging artist my work has now been exhibited and sold in both solo and joint gallery exhibitions in the south and southeast east of England. I can be contacted through my website
and through www.raymichaelsgallery.com