Drawn from Turner
David Remfry RA, artist
David Remfry RA studied at Hull College of Art (1959-64). A figurative painter, born and trained in England now dividing his time between his studios in New York and London, Remfry has a long-established reputation as a draftsman and watercolourist, having had over 50 solo exhibitions in Europe and America including solo exhibitions at P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center, New York City, a Museum of Modern Art affiliate (Curated by Alanna Heiss and Daniel Marzona), the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida, The Victoria and Albert Museum, London. David Remfry ‘Dancers’ exhibition opened at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge in May 2005 and at the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull in November 2005. Remfry works almost exclusively in watercolour. His watercolours are large; some single-figure pieces are practically life-size, and his subjects are decidedly urban. His work can be seen in many public collections. A complete biography is available at www.davidremfry.com
The drawing I chose was very different from the subject matter I usually work with - which is the model. Turner’s drawing was a very dynamic drawing of broken branches, a fragment of a forest perhaps; gouache had been used to heighten parts. It reminded me of a spiky Graham Sutherland.
It presented a challenge to copy because its power had been achieved by rapid pencil or graphite strokes, which would be lost in a considered version, and so I elected to go for the feel of the drawing rather than a precise copy.
I found the experience of trying to see how Turner saw and translating that to my own work very rewarding.