Stirrup, Harry

Stilllife painting entitled Composition 101 with vase of tulips by Harry Stirrup


I studied painting, drawing and printmaking at Liverpool in the late 1960s, and was taught by some excellent artists and teachers including Adrian Henri and Don McKinlay. 

I was an art and design lecturer for thirty five years, and throughout that time I continued drawing and painting from the life model, alongside my students. During a short holiday in Cornwall in 2017 I did some drawings of the landscape in a sketchbook, and this kick-started a renewed enthusiasm for painting as a studio activity. In May 2018 I began oil painting regularly.

In 2019 I re-discovered American Abstract Expressionism through reading Ninth Street Women, written by Mary Gabriel. This helped clarify and confirm some long held ideas I’d had about painting. Currently, I try to work simply and minimally in the little gap between the figurative and the abstract, while avoiding preconceptions and preplanning. It is important for me to keep a balance between figurative observation and the abstract nature of paint, colour and shape, and, at least, to attempt to treat them with the same importance. The paint and colour are not just mediums inhabited by images, they are significant things in themselves, and the spaces they create usually come before the objects that eventually occupy them.

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