Profile of Drew Darcy
History & Background.
Born in Shrewsbury in 1976 I am the eldest of twin boys. Being the son of a doctor and a nurse, I always felt in safe hands right from the start. My artistic flare may well have been passed down from my mothers side. She was one of a family of ten children. Music and art was a central part of growing up in Dublin. My grandfather was from five generations of tailors and trained in Saville Row to become a bespoke tailor. He had three shops in Ireland, one of which was in historical Kilmainham, Dublin. On my father’s side, my grandfather was an industrial designer and skilled draughtsman. Thus the fabric of the artist was woven!
I can remember drawing from an early age, and was first introduced to oil painting at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire. I revelled in the fact that I could make my indelible mark on my own canvas, just like the great painters before me. Hundreds of hours were spent in the ‘Art Room’, where I learnt many of the techniques I use today. I was given a great freedom in my art classes and achieved grade A's in GCSE and A-level Art & Design. Moving to Birmingham, I successfully completed a BTEC National Diploma in Art & Design at Bourneville Art College.
In the time waiting for the paint to dry, I found that music and song writing was another creative output for me. I formed a guitar band and spent a few years performing all over the UK and Ireland. Music is still an abiding passion of mine. However I found myself continually drawn back to the canvas, and in 2002 I threw myself into my art and dedicated all my time into developing my own unique style that I hope will eventually lead me to stand out from the current leading artists of the world. After successfully exhibiting and selling my work in some carefully chosen galleries around the country, I later had the opportunity to show five new pieces at the Autumn Fair in Birmingham 2004. This was my opportunity to get a first hand reaction from art collectors, galleries and many of the larger publishing houses. I was overwhelmed with such a great response to my work and this was a huge boost to my confidence.
After meeting Glyn Washington and his team, I felt that Washington Green were the right company to launch me onto the main stage. Enjoy!
Ideas & Inspirations.
Music, fashion, modern design, film, photography, advertising, and my ever-changing moods are some of the many subjects that can spark off my creative process. I admire many artists like Gerhard Richter, Francis Bacon, and Edward Hopper to name but a few. I like to take in artistic flavours from my favourite artists, absorb them and throw them all back in to the mix to make my own distinctive style.
Many hours are spent gathering photographs and other sources of reference. My work is mainly figurative and I like to capture moments in time, whilst still trying to keep a sense of movement and realism. Once I have enough to work with I can manipulate images using my computer and can quickly realise my initial ideas on screen. I can then get a feel of what the final piece will look like, change colours, cut and paste. I embrace technology and love the fact that I can marry traditional methods with the modern and new. However, nothing compares with the magic that can be created with a brush stroke. No digital imagery or computer power can get even close to that invaluable human touch. I eagerly anticipate transposing the developed ideas onto canvas.
From Palette to Picture.
The first touch of paint on a primed canvas is always the most rewarding. I try to keep as much of those first layers as possible, why fix something that isn’t broken. I think this is my secret to keeping a fresh look to my work. The paint is applied with brushes only and I use little or no paint thinners. The consistency of the oil paint straight from the tube works perfectly for me. I’m not afraid of using space within my paintings; less can mean more, allowing the painting to invite the mind to imagine. The contrast with colours, textures, light and shade are some of the many elements that continually fascinate.
A day in the Life of...
I start the day by flooding my house with as much daylight as possible. I work from home having transformed a spare room into a small studio. It is simple, clean, and modern - reflecting my artistic style. White walls surround me to reflect light; there is a chair, desk, easel, guitar and a computer in one corner. Depending on my creative mood I may develop new projects or lose myself in brushwork and canvas.
Music is never far away. It is a constant friend and companion to soothe away the hours. Some evenings may be spent socialising, dining out, band rehearsals or you may just find me back in my studio immersing myself in my work.