George Shaw

George Shaw was born in 1966 in Coventry, and is well known for his realistic depictions of banal spaces in the English suburbs. Shaw studied at Sheffield Polytechnic and Royal College of Art, London. Humbrol Enamel paints are the medium of choice for Shaw, and he particularly focuses on suburban environments, with graffiti, and litter also adding to the eerie feel of his compositions. In the below painting we can see what is presumably Shaw’s mum’s house, maybe the same house he grew up in as a child.

Mum’s, 2018, Humbrol enamel on canvas
46 x 55 cm

For my response to Shaw’s work I decided to paint a family members house and chose my sister’s as she’s just recently bought this house with her partner. My attempt was a realistic depiction but actually looking at the painting it is I suppose more stylised. Further evidence to demonstrate my dislike and inability to produce realistic paintings! Although I do really like this stylised version. The bricks were slightly painstaking as each were painted individually, but I think the result is pretty effective. I used acrylic on paper but the paint was very watered down so it resembled watercolour more so than acrylic.

Below is another selection of Shaw’s work entitled Hawthorne Lane. A collection of paintings, taking the viewer on a journey physically as we move from one place to the other, as well as through the seasons as we can see what looks like the changing colour of leaves and snow on the ground.

GEORGE SHAW (B. 1966) 
Hawthorne Lane 1-20, watercolor on paper, 30.5 x 40 cm. (12 x 15.7 in.)

For my response to this collection of work taking the viewer on a journey, I decided to capture the journey from my car in the car park of my studio at Thames-Side, Woolwich, to my studio itself. Walking alongside the large buildings with the sun shining brightly and through the corridors to my own front door.

I decided to use watercolour as Shaw did in his collection, which I haven’t used often so I’m still trying to get to grips with it as a painting material. I think the resulting collection looks good together and I particularly like the second painting of my own shadow, without it we would just see buildings and pathways, but this element adds a person into the collection and signifies the journey that’s being made and connection of place to person. Looking closely at the shadow you can also see the blue and brown pigments I used to create this dark shadow.

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