Saturday, 4 June 2011

David Poxon RI

 David Poxon - Machinery on a Farm - 20" x 28" - Watercolour

I live in rural Shropshire, although only 30 miles from my childhood home, it’s a different world to the one I knew as a growing boy. In those days greenery was few and far between. My formative years were spent in the shadows of the thundering rolling mills and foundries of the Industrial heartlands of England. I watched the toiling thousands hurrying to work with collars turned up against the cruel winter winds, ex army knapsacks strung on shoulders containing the days sandwiches and the vital thermos and tea supply. The coming and going was none stop, 3 shifts per day, six days a week, with only Sundays off. With children and pigeons to nurture, the only respite for the nations workforce was the glory or otherwise of the Saturday football.
As a treat at the age of 5 my Grandmother let me work in her sweetshop on Saturdays, my pay was all the coconut mushrooms I could consume. Then one birthday she gave me a very precious gift – a tin of Rowney watercolour paints. There was no stopping me then. I was mesmerised by this seeming box of jewels, such a contrast to the working greys and hues of toil that seemed to be the whole world that surrounded me. Every pan a vivid colour I used rolls of old wallpaper to practice painting on. I had no idea how to use the paints, and had to find my own way. As then the same excitement grips me when starting a new painting, for each work is another step on the same wondrous journey.

David Poxon - Field of Dreams - 22" x 37" - Watercolour
My paintings can take many weeks to make. Sometimes there is up to 19 layers of thin transparent wash applied to gradually modulate colour ways and build the tonal depth that’s necessary to capture drama, and consequently contrast against an all powerful dissolving light force. I do not use white paint, preferring instead to harness the purity of the white paper. This is technically challenging, but once in that mind-set the rewards can be uplifting. This painting of heaps of discarded metal at the back of an Iron Foundry in the Severn valley took a serious amount of unravelling to make sense of its tangle.

David Poxon - Another World - 12" x 17" - Watercolour

I love to zoom in on abandoned corners or overlooked machinery, and am continuously drawn to things that have worked for a living. These objects and scenarios seem to imbue something of the men that created them. Not just content to make things that were fit for purpose they also harbour a living character and aesthetic harmony which is both joyous and soulful.To capture the reality and essence of these places and things in my paintings I consciously leave nothing out, and put nothing in, that is not there. I do this out of respect for those that have enriched our world with their astute craftsmanship.

Text and images: Copyright © David Poxon RI 2011


  1. I am such an admirer of your work. I never cease to be amazed at how you pull such beauty out of broken junk, which most of us would walk past without even seeing it.
    Thank you for teaching me how to really see *everything* that's around me and not only the obviously beautiful things.

  2. I am delighted to see your 'eye' expressed in watercolour, inspiring.