Paul Gatenby

It all starts with drawing. It always did for me; it’s the earliest art experience I can remember and it underpins everything I do now which is mostly figure drawing or plein air drawing.

In recent years I’ve taken to using small sketchbooks which fit in the pocket, that way you can draw anywhere; the bus stop, waiting rooms, galleries, cafes, and these drawings can become the basis for paintings or prints, (especially drypoints).

I don’t think art has to be grand, we can find enough fascination in the everyday. A neglected corner may have as much character as an imposing vista.

In 2014, I set up Liverpool Urban Sketchers, a group of artists which is affiliated to the worldwide Urban Sketchers movement. We hold regular outdoor sketching events and a great deal of my current work has grown out of urban sketching.

All the work in the current exhibition started life as an ‘on the spot’ drawing, and in the paintings which grew out of them I’ve tried to retain some sense of mood relating to the original place. It’s not about buildings, it’s about places.