I have used watercolour as my main medium to express the effect of light and atmosphere through landscape; my main preoccupation being the passage of time, transience and evocation of mood. I have recently branched out into acrylic and oil which is a total change. I find it less contemplative and more immediate and spontaneous with movement and a strong influence of music.
When using watercolour I build up the work in washes and glazes, often over a carefully worked out drawing. I am very deliberate about positioning objects, often working it out on tracing paper first. This allows me to get the positioning and dynamics first and releases me to be free in the painting, being open to what the washes may reveal.When using oil or acrylic, as opposed to the steady build up and contemplative feel of watercolour, these media have opened a new spontaneous way of working. I might just have a colour shape to work with, and I go with that. It is a bit scary but exciting because it’s not premeditated. Inspiration comes in various ways, shapes or objects in the landscape and the light. At the moment, I find music particularly inspiring. However, light transforms everything. It’s all quite mysterious.
I’m not adverse to using photographs as a starting point, or anything that interests from other sources: magazines, drawings, my own photographs. I don’t mind. I store it all away for future reference to spark me off.
1945 Born in Birmingham
1962-65 Studied National Diploma in Design (Graphics and Illustration) at Birmingham College of Arts and Crafts
1971 Moved to London and taught art
1974 Took up Freelance Illustration and personal painting projects.
Taught drawing and painting at Heatherly School of Art, Hampstead, London
1983 Elected a Member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours and the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, Associate of the Royal College of Art
The Herring Prize, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours
St. Cuthberts Paper Mill Award, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, 2001
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists exhibitions
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London
Royal Watercolour Society Annual Exhibition
Singer and Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour competition
Hunting Group Art Prize
Vancouver Expo ‘86
Fry Museum of Modern Art
Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
Red Flag Gallery
Stow on the World’
Fine Art UK Gallery
Landscape in Watercolour, by Patricia Monahan, Studio Vista
Paintings from Photographs, by Diana Constance, Harpercollins
Contemporary British Watercolour Artists, ed. by Martin Caulkin, Shandong Fine Arts Publishing House, Hong Kong