• Michael Sole

Michael Sole

Since graduating from a BA in Fine Art from Wimbledon College of Art in 2008, Sole has gone on to exhibit in group and solo shows across England and France. In 2009 and 2010 he was awarded “Young Artist of the Year” by the Royal Society of Marine Artists for his work exhibited in a group show in the Mall Galleries, London. In 2012 he was in the running for the Threadneedle prize and was a runner up in Evolver Prize.
In 2013 he won The Arts Club Charitable Trust Award at the RSMA annual exhibition in the Mall Galleries, and this year two large paintings were excepted into this same show. The last 4 years exhibitions in London have been a real success, selling out completely by the end of each show and winning the trust of some international collectors. Interested in nature and the re-evaluation of its painterly tradition, Sole’s work explores painting as a process using the great outdoors as a subject matter.

To gain inspiration he places himself into the environment he paints, enabling him to bring thoughts, ideas, and the physical presence of the landscape back into the studio and onto his canvases. Often he spends months at a time observing his choice of subject matter, completely immersing himself in the task. “Nature is fascinating to me, especially in extreme circumstances, storms etc. In painting I feel very strongly that energy must be met with energy. By this I mean big seas and powerful subject matter benefits from energetic, physical and confident painting which usually includes allowing the paint to have its own way, without using a brush. Dripping, pouring, throwing, lifting, shaking etc all add to these involuntary effects.

Through these processes and techniques I hope to capture the power and atmosphere of the environment that I have placed myself into”. Sole says he is striving to achieve a state of ‘Involuntaryism’ a concept of the built up knowledge in the artists hand is permitted to come through in an instinctive approach to the application of the materials in this case they include oils, bitumen, PVA and emulsion.

Mission Statement.

Completely simplified - I paint nature. Such a broad subject yet I have homed in and focused on the parts that inspire me to experiment with materials and processes that not only interests me, but completely satisfies me and emphasises/highlights who I am as a person. This subject matter has been approached since painting began and has been deemed irrelevant within the context of contemporary art. However I think the greatest paintings came with the impressionists when no other medium could be used to realise their conscious thoughts onto canvas. This was where paint as the material became the focus over the image itself to create atmosphere and a relationship between the canvas and the artist.

The expressionists used paint as a 'set in stone' vision of their expressions. I don't see my work as either impressionistic or expressionistic but rather a stepping stone between the two. Where image is less important but still necessary, at the moment, to create the atmosphere, movement and figuration I so desire, for a completely self indulgent satisfaction. The concept behind my work completely relies upon the materials, how they react with one another and how I go about applying this to the canvas. 'Energy must be met with energy' describes the way I paint.

Rough sea's and stormy skies must be painted with energy, spontaneity and confidence. My paintings are completely dependent on my mood and energy levels. there is not much concept. its just what comes

out of me - my expressions. How I feel when i am painting determines its quality in my mind. Feeling lethargic and unconfident, because of the way I paint, brings a bad painting. Feeling energetic and inspired makes it all flow and produces a good painting. Energy and spontaneity is the key to the way I paint. It is an essential part. Layering and the history of a painting - the previous layer deciding the next layer. The emphasis of materials and organic marks - natural geometry and at the same time showing evidence of myself the artist. The combining of involuntary mark making with evidence of the artist has become the essence of the process of my work.

 “Dans le tableau (l’oeuvre d’art, je cherche, j’aime l’homme, l’artiste” Zola – The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh (In the picture (the work of art), I look for, I love the man – the artist).

Replication of nature - Involuntarialism and reactions. ‘Involuntarialism is the act of allowing the paint and gravity to create the painting itself. Involuntarylism is subject to the artist ‘puppeteering’ the paint, using built up knowledge and past experience, to create the final painting. The artist’s involvement is purely to manipulate the paint and canvas so as to exaggerate as strongly as possible the resulting organic textures and marks. The whole idea of involuntarylism is allowing the paints characteristics to produce the marks, creating organic patterns, atmosphere and substantiation, allowing the painting to have a life of its own.





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