Ben McLeod

Born in Preston, Lancashire in 1972, Ben studied Fine Art at Lancaster University, specialising in painting and drawing.

He gained his BA degree in 1996. After further studies in Theology and work with students in the London area, he settled in the Lake District in 2002.

Much of his work has been influenced by this move and the effect of being surrounded by the Cumbrian landscape.

Artist Statement: My work is heavily influenced by the surrounding landscape of wherever I am. Be that in the Kent Estuary of the English Lake District, North Wales, Spain, North or South Africa and Lesotho where I have been able to travel. I paint as a response to living, working and walking in the landscape.

I often compose my paintings with thick, textured paint - loosely applied. I wish to convey a sense of place, and the physical process of mark-making I employ is an engagement with the environment around me. After sketches and photographs used as reference I prefer to paint and draw quickly and instinctively.

My work is a visual diary, a desire to capture a sense of the vitality and living quality of the landscape around me - a response to knowing what it is like to be in the landscape - a personal response to seeing and feeling the effects of the light and weather. My art is not a complete rejection of Modernist ideology from my undergraduate studies, but essentially, I paint because I want to paint.

The formal qualities of my painting and drawing is important - an aesthetic in response to the aesthetic of the environment around me.