Artist In The Spotlight - Fraser Renton
As you know, we love sharing info about our fantastic artists! We want to know what they are doing, why and how, so our Gallery Director, Carol Caiger caught up with Fraser Renton recently and got him to take a break from his busy day to give us the lowdown...
Carol: Firstly, What is the inspiration behind your work?
Fraser: As far back as I can remember I have always had a love for linear geometrics and colour field paintings. I see the world we live in a place full of linear-geometric constructions with enhanced colour vibrancies. My fascination for both these art forms has inspired me for many years, from great artists such as Piet Mondrian, Wassily Kandinsky, Ilya Bolotowsky, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. I feel that many of the works from these fine artists represent some of the most intellectually fascinating and visually stimulating geometric and colour field art ever conceived.
Carol: When and why did you start to work with geometric shapes?
Fraser: Finding the creative process therapeutic, I started professionally in 2016 working from my home studio.
Carol: Can you tell us how you prepare for you work and your method of working ?
Fraser: Focusing on multiple colours, sharp lines, three dimensional shapes and multi layered optical illusions, I prepare my visions digitally, using colour fields and multiple layers, before transferring these creations to ‘one-off’ original pieces. Using acrylic paints on canvas, birch-ply or aluminium surfaces, for me there needs to be an edge to the works, whether that be using gradients, texture or subtleties in the colour. For works that are resin coated, this extra element protects the finished pieces from moisture, heat and physical stress.
I find it therapeutic listening to film scores whilst I work. Working with Birch or Aluminium surfaces there is a waiting game for paint to dry before working on new colours so as to get the best lines I can. Resin also is a curing process so more waiting time. Patience is everything!
Carol: - How long does it take to do your artwork?
Fraser: Each piece takes about 4 days from start to finish.
Carol: - When people see your linear work, what is the question that they ask the most?
Fraser: How do I get the lines so straight! Patience, hard work and the love of detailing is my reply.
Carol: Your new body of work contains 3D sculptured mesh artwork, is this a new direction for you?
Fraser: Creating 3D sculptured Mesh Art is not only personal to me but has now become a passion that I feel compliments my Linear-Geometric Art. I am working with multiple colours chosen to compliment each other using colour field techniques, sharp lines under shapes with depth and 3D optical illusions on movement. As with my Linear-Geometric Art, for me there needs to be an edge to the works, whether that be using gradients, texture or simple subtleties in the colour.
Carol: What inspired you to start creating mesh art?
My best friend of 30 years introduced me into making sculptured art. Unfortunately, he passed suddenly last year but because we had big plans for 2018 to collaborate our works, I decided to implement some of his ideas into my own works which reminds me of him during the creation process.
Carol: What materials do you use?
Fraser: I work with canvas as the framework and either use Dupion Silk as a base over layer or hand paint Linear-Geometrics using acrylics as the background, before covering with 3D colour changing Aluminium mesh.
Carol: How do you create these stunning pieces?
Fraser: When creating tactile sculptured Geomesh Art, I firstly hand mould the Aluminium mesh into a chosen landscape. I then 'directional precision spray' the sculptured mesh with acrylics and varnishes which creates a colour changing landscape of possibilities. The mesh is then placed over the Dupion Silk or Linear Geometrics before choosing framework colours using stained and waxed Obeche wood to compliment the work. The synergy when merging the mesh with the Linear-Geometrics, can create some stunning results that seem to come alive when you move past them!
Carol: Where is your studio and what is it like?
Fraser: I currently work from my home studio in West Sussex. It’s very clean, modular, there is a place for everything and everything is easy-accessible. My fellow artists find it amusing when we compare studio photos - I like to keep everything spotless in between projects!
Carol: We know you are always busy - what's next?
Fraser: I have three shows coming up over the next few weeks: Flux Exhibition and Reading Art Fair in April and Bath Art Fair in May.
P.S. ..something you may not know about Fraser..... From the early 90’s Fraser performed in a touring cabaret troupe that took him around the world, performing in the countries of all 5 continents. Apart from performing, Fraser both managed the troupe as well as creating many of the costumes, stage props, backdrops and promotional material! How cool is that!!!!