Jonathan Hooper

Houses in Meanwood, Leeds (I)

Bankside Gallery: Rising Artists, Jackson's Painting Prize 2023
61 x 76 cm

“My paintings show the residential architecture of Leeds, particularly the brick and stone houses of the suburbs to the north-west of the city. I am not drawn to grand buildings, nor to scenes of urban decay: I want to show directly the beauty and individuality of the the built landscapes around us, the places where we live.

I go walking daily, taking photos and making notes. At home I select, crop, and print these photos, in black-and-white. From these I make drawings in watercolour to develop ideas for colour and composition, before painting. For painting, I use water-mixable oils on canvas or board, working horizontally on a table with fairly fluid paint. I make a series of paintings of a particular subject and as I work I revisit it, taking more photos, and making more drawings, in an iterative process. Colour is central to my work: I aim for an emotional atmosphere that mirrors the character of the subject rather than imitating its visual appearance.”