This month the KAB Gallery team are excited to officially welcome Sydney based impressionist artist Simon Buchan to our stable. Focusing mainly on landscape and cityscape scenes, Simon’s impasto style married with his judicious use of colour and form are hallmarks of his evolving body of work.
KAB Gallery is currently exhibiting two paintings from Simon’s popular Sydney Night series – “Harry’s” and “The Top of William Street” – along with a beautiful set of coastal landscapes which feature the Terrigal view and a detailed painting of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from Observatory Hill. Each work has been created on quality canvas with luxe paints and framed by Simon himself. He is addicted to quality and loves using the well-regarded Art Spectrum brand – he explained to me that “good paint with premium pigment will consistently give the best results.”
Simon’s popular night series features many iconic Sydney locations which stand out to us all in the night – each created with vibrant contrasting colour and uncanny perspective.
While many artists struggle with perspective and spatial detail, this is the main aspect of painting Simon enjoys the most. He works mainly from his studio, referencing photographs and other material to produce his beautifully detailed true-to-life works.
As a professional artist he is extremely dedicated to his practice, working tirelessly until completely satisfied with each piece. He explained that he prefers to start painting early in the morning – his “peak time for progress”. He is a completely self-trained artist, inspired by contemporary artists Nicholas Harding, Ashley Frost, Guy Maestri and Amanda Penrose Hart. While it’s interesting to observe that these artists could all be described as having a more loose expressive style than his own, Simon nonetheless enjoys and feels inspired by their work.
With no formal art training Simon relishes opportunities to work with his contemporaries, including Kasey Sealy and other Australian greats. He has told me about his valuable tutorial with Kasey Sealy – he joined a class at Kasey Sealy’s studio several years ago and gained so much from the experience. Like many studio artists, Simon has developed the compositional grid method of painting. “The grid system is something I heard about some time ago but only started using once I moved into cityscapes. It has assisted me to tackle the most challenging views. With the grid, I can break down and draw up a reasonably accurate sketch of what I want to paint. Perspective is important in my paintings so by using the grids I can break the photo down to small areas and work from one section to another. I basically complete one box and move on to the next one. I only really relax and free up with the palette knife in hand. While my paintings look quite loose they are a close resemblance to the subject matter because of the grid system I use in the beginning.”
Simon brings a new level of clarity to his practice of art and the impasto style. His style is quite detailed and tight considering his love of applying paint expressively with the palette knife. It is certainly a unique style and technique – palette knife paintings are usually borderline abstract whereas Simon’s are relatively true to form and realistic. His colours are bright and joyful, even the dark night scenes are vibrant and energetic.
Audiences are drawn to these works and love the vivacity of both his palette and style. He is proud to have been selected as a finalist in the Mosman Art Prize multiple times over recent years. His current professional goals include some significant prize wins and solo shows abroad. KAB Gallery looks forward to working with Simon Buchan as these goals are achieved. He is certainly an artist to watch and invest in now, as his popularity is steadily growing with works selling quickly in the gallery. Take a look at the full catalogue here