Michael Williams

It’s almost exactly three years since I last exhibited at The Art Stable and the essential ambitions have not changed. I still paint landscapes and still lifes; and I had the idea then that the folds of fabric on a table suggested the folds of landscape. The three “High Lake” paintings, representing Llyn-y-Fan Fach, a lake high in the Black Mountain area of Carmarthenshire, came as an alternative to painting the sea. Instead of infinite recession here was a dramatically enclosed sheet of water, obviously formed by a glacier, with an unknown and mysterious depth and a steeped sided corrie around it, with striped, almost black, bands of rock. A wild place, three miles from the nearest car carrying road. The recent still lifes have seen a shift from watercolour to acrylic paint. The striations or ‘filaments of light’ are even more important, I think, in that they run through opaque colour: thin but often brilliant opaque colour so that the exchange between translucence and opacity is always taking place. And the very thin, often interrupted or embedded lines are now closer together so that a surface of folding fabric or intensely coloured wall has a kind of vibration or trembling running through it. These are paintings but they have some of the characteristics of a drawing or woven cloth. The drawings are both working drawings, working out which way the lines should go, and expressive images. There might be more trembling than in the paintings.

Michael Williams, March, 2019

Michael Williams was born in Patna, India in 1936. After reading History at Oxford he studied painting at La Grande Chaumiere in Paris. Returning to London he taught Art History at St. Martin’s (1964 -71) and then Fine Art at Goldsmith’s (1972 – 81). In the 1970s he moved to Wales which led to a shift from a kind of ‘pop art’ painting to a kind of Ruskinian landscape painting, devoted to the Marches and later to the Greek and Aegean landscapes.  In 1915 he won Second Prize in in the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition.

Fabric, Sage and Water, acrylic, 50 x 75 cm

Fabric, Amonite and Water, acrylic, 50 x 75 cm

Still Life, Green Wall and Matisse, acrylic, 50 x 75 cm

High Lake with Wall, watercolour, 60 x 102 cm