We had the good fortune of connecting with Rowan Newton and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rowan, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Painting and drawing just excites me more than anything else. It’s something I just wanted to constantly try and improve and experiment with. From a child I have been passionate about drawing, doing it constantly. Whether it is drawing from comic books or drawing from life, it is all exiting! As I got older my interest in drawing lead into painting and picking up a paintbrush opened up a new vocabulary of marks. There is so much you are always discovering and learning when using oil paints and a brush.

As a child there was nothing more I enjoyed then sitting around drawing, and that hasn’t changed. I’ve tried my best to be able to live with that same freedom and childhood joy of being able to spend my days painting and drawing. It takes a lot of hard work to be in the position where you can do that and at times it involves way more time doing admin, emails, website and social media updates than you would like because the ultimate goal is to be in the studio making.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Using oil and spray paint I do portrait and figurative works. I paint in a loose, abstract and colourful style to convey a feeling and atmosphere to the people I paint. I guess I’m proud of how much I have exhibited across the world, in places like New York, Amsterdam and Cologne. I am also proud of the fact that I have put together two very successful solo shows in my home city, London. How I got to this point professionally… I’m not sure. Hopefully due to hard work, discipline and being nice and helpful to those I met along the way. It’s not easy, no, but it is fun. Of course there are many times, where you question your own skill, self doubt, wondering why opportunities come to others and not yourself, financial concerns etc, but you have to focus on going forward, and making sure you are working on your practice. Not everything has to be a piece that you end up exhibiting, but I feel you should always be working on your practice and developing as an artist. This is the only way to learn and improve. I’d like my work to trigger a feeling or memory that you recognise within the person looking at it. I like to initiate connections and to remind people of emotional place… to reflect on that time and to question what has be learnt or discovered.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For me it would be a toss up of either London where I grew up, or New York. These two locations are just amazing for having an energetic magic about them. As soon as you step foot in these cities, an exciting buzz just fills your body. My memory is too awful to remember particular food and drink spots, but in saying that, I feel part of the magic of these two cities is that you can be constantly discovering new fantastic and varied spots to eat and drink. For food, drink and a night out in London, a good place to start would have to be either Brixton or Soho. In New York the Lower Eastside. In London you have to wonder around the streets in the Chancery Lane/ Fleet Street area. Thats old old London, so much history, so many details in the old buildings, lots of little ally ways and nooks and crannies to discover. In New York the High Line is a must for me every time I go. It gives you a great perspective of the city, and there is so much going on a long the walk. In London, I’m a big fan of Regents Park, and in New York of course it has to be Central Park. It’s unreal how there is just this huge park in the heart of the city. Now this is a bit controversial coming from me… I may lose my London pass…but I feel the people of New York are friendlier. More approachable, more open to meeting new people and being helpful. However, being a Londoner myself, I absolutely love a good ol’ spoonful of cynicism, which the people of London have down to a fine art.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are four key figures that I would like to shout out. First would be Ben Oakley, an artist and gallery owner here in south London. In my early days into the professional art world, he helped me get my work out to bigger audience and made some valuable introductions. Ben also helped me acquire my first studio, where I’m still at to this day. Next, I would shout out Dario and Louise at Jealous Gallery and Print Studio. They have produced, funded and sold many screen prints of my work over the past ten years. They have selected my work to be shown in great locations like the Royal Academy and art fairs in New York. They supported me in my first two solo shows at their gallery and have been amazingly nice and supportive. I’ve made some good friends there. Then thirdly I would like to shout out my good friend in the art world, Charlotte Pyatt. We have now known each other for about 10 years, and she has been a great friend, a good listener and given me lots of helpful advice in both my personal life and my art practice. She has constantly supported my art career, and although we have worked together on anything directly, she has played a key role in my development as an artist.

Website: http://rowannewton.co.uk/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rowan_newton/?hl=en

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