Rob Pittam was addicted to Cornwall from his first childhood holidays there. As well as the landscape, the ocean, and surfing – those brilliant, sunlit summer days on the beach seem to have triggered a lifelong fascination with the subtle emotional power of light and shadow.
Greatly influenced by the work of Vermeer and Edward Hopper, he too aims for a certain quality of stillness in his pictures. The still-lives often include fishes and he believes that they are amongst the most interesting subjects in nature to study in paint. Possessing colour, pattern, reflectivity, perfectly evolved streamlined shapes and a three-dimensional form to ‘sculpt’ in light and shade – they might also be read as metaphors for the sea itself.
Rob Pittam works in a classical technique using the translucency of acrylic paint, over a pencil drawing and monochrome underpainting on gessoed board, to build up tonal depth through multiple glazes of colour.