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Tony Williams RSMA SWAc

Tony Williams RSMA SWAc, is a full member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists. 

An award winning professional artist, Tony Williams RSMA SWAc has exhibited at the Royal Society of Marine Artists annual exhibition in the Mall Galleries London for the past six years and has exhibited at The Royal Institute of Oil Painters. Tony lives and works in rural Devon.

Tony Williams' paintings showcase the irresistible light of the sun, and evoke the parallels within physics, industry and the industrial world as it once was. The figures now become a host of ghosts from an age of lost industries. walking or more likely, cycling with the ever present cigarette, dwarfed by the monolithic vastness of ships or winding gear. Workers in a landscape of cold steel, smoke and noise, often deafened by hydraulic riveting and leaning in together to hear conversation. The paintings are not intended to represent actual events but are an evocation of the spirit of comradeship generated by the harsh nature of their work, often drawn from fragments of black and white reference. The sun is emblematic of the white heat, born out of the industrial revolution of the eighteenth century. Our sun serves to connect continuity which links us to them.

Initial working method

Ever since I first saw the quality of a mark that came as the result of paint that I wiped away from an unwanted part of an early painting, I have relied on bending that accident to my purpose with a mix of dark oil paint which is selectively wiped away with a cotton rag to find both the light and the drawing locked inside it: At the same time forcing the edges of pushed paint into a more intriguing and exciting outcome.   

I always just eyeball the painting, adjusting the image by replacing dark oil paint and re-working it until I see the desired result. Within this technique it is possible to find, quickly and unexpectedly something visually exciting and, if this does not happen, I abort the work and restart it. This same method is also used to render landscape, sea, and coastal subjects with a modified colour and tonal mix, wiped off to draw with the rag, wave patterns and foam spume tracks on water, or light caught on wave crests and wind ripple. These initial light marks are the triggers that drive the painting onward. Even quite large canvasses, say, a metre square, are started with a rag. There follows a series of drying and then further painting, using increasingly lighter tonal keys.

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