Justin Hawkes added a triple string to his artistic bow when he accepted the Royal Society of Watercolourists’ key prize The President’s Award in this year’s brilliant competition. Already well known as a significant colourfield painter of expansive canvas - his signature style has brought the genre to another level of abstract landscape - he is also a meticulous restorer of old paintings, Now he has taken a hotly contested award for his watercolours, a winner in a field of endeavour coveted by so many artists and practised so imaginatively by the entire field entrants . With an array of such accomplished competitors, this is a real coup.
No artist likes to spill the beans entirely about his intentions and techniques but when pressed Justin Hawkes has some thoughtful reflections on his own work. The sequence title of his paintings is Fluid Variations gives a hint of what he’s about . But not much more. And often it is true, artists are not the best equipped to describe their own work. But Justin is an exception. His explanation of his watercolours is complex and intriguing
“When there is a need to explain what I think I am doing in my watercolours I use the term ‘sequence’ he tells The Cambridge Critique “Several structures and ideas influence me, such as the internal working of music and aspects of town and countryside. From these, I try to find my own sequence of balance and harmony.
‘When looking at buildings in surrounding land I think of sequences of arrangements. How is the view changed and ordered by new buildings ? How is perspective altered? Changing light can introduce a different ‘take’ on events in terms of far and near. “
“In my paintings I link shapes and colours to explore relative distance; trying to alter and adjust its perception . I find interest and excitement in bringing a dark colour closer with the right kind of manipulation of lighter colours.There is a representation of the three dimensional world in my paintings while simultaneously I make them independent. I explore an aspect of reality- what I call a sequencing of space and forms.”
A thoughtful and worthy winner. We feature the three Fluid Variations series