Barry De More


Although I was painting early on in life and won an international painting prize in 1959 at the age of eleven which was a painting of a tea pot which encouraged me no end. I have been painting ever since. However, I didn’t really start painting seriously until 1976. I have always been interested in the relationship between the figure and buildings but how to make sense of the complexity and how it might become a painting is an on-going development. As a figurative painter my primary source of inspiration arises from observation and the on the spot drawing which always takes pre-eminence for any painting which may arise. Currently my main focus of interest is to be found in the area of Yorkshire, in particular its everyday life and energies, its people within the built environment going about their business amongst the shops, markets, streets and alleyways in its architectural sites both civil and humble. A simple topographical route would not always provide the answer for the way I would set out to produce a painting or a drawing. Neither do I look to the picturesque, but prefer the more unexciting and the ordinary so that I might make something more memorable of the commonplace. Similarly, the more natural illusion is not necessarily suitable. My choice of palette is tonal and not colour which enables me to explore the use of a more closely tonal range of colour such as creams, buttermilk, ochres and a range of other earth colours which seem to illuminate the composition from the inside, while the painted frames which are of a similar hue to the overall tonal value of the painting spread the soft glow further to the edges of the frame. The life of the subjects being mainly townscapes its buildings in all their fundamental elements and the addition of the people and their relationship to the buildings are made to meld and gel providing harmony throughout the painting. The perspective is distorted and the line is sparse, so that shape and mass become more defined. When looking at my paintings one can detect a nervous probing for form, sketching rather than defining which contributes to the overall energies of the surface. As a serious painter I am constantly looking for a way to express my warm feeling for Yorkshire, its landscape and its people.