Sunday, 13 January 2013


After some months in the wilderness I now have secured some studio space ! I am very proud and excited to be part of Stew, an organisation based in Fishersgate in Norwich. So looking forward to this year, lots of possibilties to meet new artists & artsfolk as well as the chance to build and extend on work from last year.

Paintings up at Frank's Bar on for 1 more week.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Nick Powell Painting intro and cv

Jan 2013
Paintings at Franks Bar - by Nick Powell

Thank-you for checking out my work and visiting the blog here, where I post thoughts and work in progress.
Finished work is @:

Get in touch/updates on activity !
twitter: @npowellpainting

I make paintings using acrylic and oil on canvas or board. I also use gouache on watercolour paper. I lived in London for 6 years and had a studio at Euroart, a group based in Tottenham. I returned to Norwich in September 2012 with my family. I have a daughter who is 14 months old.
Being a father for the first time makes you question many things. The challenge in the past year was to make the most of what time I had in order to make work in the studio.
But for a long time I have been fascinated by the capacity of a painting can have in its various forms and on many levels.
The question of what makes a good painting, along with the potential to find out and understand through your own practice how you relate and respond to the world is what excites and motivates me.

As a teacher I go to the studio when I can and will be starting up again, with the prospect of a new studio space very soon.
Generally I do work better in some kind of chaos, working in the moment. The paintings I make can be summed up as being abstract, colour compositions. Gouache has an expendable quality to it,  in other words I can try out a number of ideas quickly to assess how composition and colour might work together.
Oils and acrylics are often multi-layered. I have maybe about 3 paintings on the go at one time, where I will use the same brushes and colours mixed. I am working with the shape of the picture plane and do bring in with me something to get things started that has some quality I like. I will put down gestures or marks or start with a shape or field of colour. My aims are usually to try and open up the painting, to generate a field of possibilities through applied brushwork. I like the way geometrical doodles can offer something , in the way ideas and space can develop through a transformation.
I have learned not to get so hung up about what it is I start with, in terms of the painting and what my work is all about.  It can be anything 'physical phenomena'.
There is a tree that I really like in Clissold Park in London that I took a phone pic of and wanted to copy or print it and use it in a painting somehow. But it is separate entity. It becomes a situation in the studio afterwards.
Thinking about that tree and deciding what you will do when you see what you have in your space.
But there is negotiation instead, with the time you have to work with and the materials. The experience of it, reflected upon, in the context of the day. Subsequently I get on with something and the experience of seeing that tree becomes part of what you are doing, a compulsion to translate a complex life force into the business of pushing oil paint around on a surface, looking and feeling my way around.

Through the process, or the activity itself, I know I am responding to everything that is happening on a deep submerged level.
However I try to stay cool, de-tached and relaxed when reviewing what has happened.  It is a trial and error process, seeing how things turn out, knowing and not knowing.

My approach has grown up a bit over the past four years and the process of spending time and finding out what happens and what works has enabled me to be more bolder and take risks.
The result with the paintings has meant I have lost paintings that were looking good due to some quality but I try not to lose sleep over this. I try to document work in progress to evaluate the decisions made.

A number of artists have had an effect on my work in some way over the past years: British Modern Painters, Abstract Expressionists, Contemporary: Krasner, De Kooning, Gorky, Kline, Guston, Nathan D'Oliveira, Hans Hofmann, Diebenkorn, Matisse, De Stael, Braque, Picasso, Heron, Gillian Ayres, Turner, Lanyon, Bomberg, Hitchens, C Wood, Irvin, Rose Wylie, Phillip Allen, Fiona Rae, Callum Innes, Gary Hume,  B Milhazes, Julie Roberts, John Kiki, Peter Cartwright,  Alexis Harding and there are many more.

As well as sense of place and weighing up the differences between Norfolk and London
Music is a big influence in my work without being specific how it informs it. I enjoy all things visual, as in buildings, landscape, the sea, movement as in dance and sport etc.
I would like people to have the opportunity to get to know the paintings I make by spending time looking and be rewarded by the experience.
Everyone has experiences to bring to what they see. It's quite open how the paintings can be considered.

I have lately been really blown away by a visit to Neo Rausch in a Town Hall exhibition in Aschersleben, Saxon-Anhalt, Germany, following a trip last Christmas. He is associated with the Liepzig School. His work is not easy to grapple with, it has Surrealist notes and complex themes to do with Germany and growing up in a changing society. The exhibition was mostly drawings/prints which introduced various elements, figures from history, in strange places sometimes with something missing or added. A film clip showed his striking paintings.

I have a blank calendar for 2013 as I get to know Norwich again, as it has changed quite a bit over the past ten years. The City seems to be at an interesting time. I hope to get going on some paintings soon. I would be interested in showing work with other painters/sculptors in a mixed show in a different venue somewhere.




2007- 08 - PGCE Primary, University of East London

1995- 98 - BA (hons) Fine Art, Cumbria College of Art and Design


  • 2012 - New Paintings, Project Space, Barbican Arts Group Trust, Blackhorse Lane, E17
  • 2012 - Open Studios, Euroart, Tottenham, London
  • 2011 - Artworks Open, Barbican Arts Trust, London
  • 2011 - Open Studios, Euroart, Tottenham, London
  • 2011 - 3 paintings, Majestic Wine Warehouse, London, E1
  • 2010 - Spence Café, Church Street, London ,N16
  • 2010 - BHVU Open, summer show, London N16
  • 2009 - Zed Café Bar, Stoke Newington, London
  • 2009 - Open Studios, Euroart, Tottenham, London,
  • 2005 - The Alexander, Muswell Hill. London,
  • 2000 – Mini Paintings, The King Street Festival, Norwich
  • 1999-  Quay Open, Michael West Gallery, Newport, Isle of Wight,
  • 1998, 99, 01 - Chichester Open, Edes House, Chichester West Sussex,
  • 1998 - Degree Show, Cumbria College of Art and Design, Carlisle,
  • 1997 - Seconds Out, Shaddon Mill Visual Arts Centre, Carlisle, Cumbria,


·          2011 - Commended painting second prize, Artworks Open, Barbican Arts Trust, selected by Kiera Bennett and Graham Crowley

  • 1998 and 1999 - Best painting by an artist under 26, Chichester Open, (now the National Art Competition)