Phil is a landscape artist whose printmaking showcases the technique of etching wonderfully. This is his first solo show in the city of Leeds. His work is extremely economical in that he uses only two plates and two or three colours to achieve a great range of tone and colour by the depth of the etch and by over printing; fusing one colour with another. His images do not always relate to a specific place rather he develops and works from an amalgamation of ideas recalled.
A word from Phil:
"Firstly, I don’t consider myself to be an artist, more a sort of craftsperson. I like working with my hands, making almost anything. I wanted to be an architect but was not good at maths, also my spelling leaves a lot to be desired (Welsh was my first language) so in my early years I thought I would like to go into the Metropolitan police, my only qualification being that I was very tall for those days. I was brought up by two aunts, one lived in London and the other in Wales. I went to school in Wales and my best subject was art. Like most teenagers, I was troublesome and a “what to do with him” situation developed. It was decided to send me to my aunt in London and I was enrolled in Harrow Art School, with a view to becoming a teacher. In my early teens I had befriended an elderly artist in Wales and used to visit his studio. He would give me paper and paint and let me work on his studio floor, giving me all sorts of advice.
I did not want to be a teacher, consequently did very little work in my first two years at Harrow and was about to leave. Then, however, I returned to Wales for the summer break and, inspired by my artist friend, produced over a hundred drawings and paintings (all Welsh landscapes) to take back for the new term. I was introduced to printmaking and had discovered an artist called George Chapman. He produced black and white etchings of Welsh industrial areas which inspired me, and I produced my first 20 black and white etchings based on the local slate towns. I was encouraged to enter the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition with one of them, it was accepted and hung. I was 19 years old, the prints sold, and this encouraged me to exhibit in other places. I finished at Harrow and went to Hornsey College for a year, then I went around Europe visiting big cities for two years. I returned to London and got a job as a delivery boy for a year before finding a teaching post. I only taught for three years, ending up as a lecturer at a teachers’ training college. By this time I had a studio in Hampstead and started to experiment making etchings in colour. If I have to say who had influence on me it would be my lecturers - Ken Howard, Peter Green, the late Charles Bartlett, Bill Ward and Christopher Sanders.
I work on plates in the summer (acid can only be used outside and doesn’t work in the cold) and prepare ideas in the winter, usually just “doodles”. I tend to have ideas of an image I want to do which can stay in my head for years until I can find an actual place that brings such an idea to reality. When the plates are made it usually takes two to make a colour etching and can take up to two months, I then work with my printer to produce the edition."
Please note the prints pictured may not necessarily be exhibited in this show as Phil is working on some brand new prints which we'll try and update with images of as soon as we can.
Phil Greenwood Solo Print Exhibition
"I want people to like my images for what they are, somewhere that reminds them of something personal to them, which is why I very seldom give them a specific place name."