Craig Davison

Pesky Kids! (Scooby Doo) by Craig Davison
Like Zoinks! (Scooby Doo) by Craig Davison
Express Yourself (X Men) by Craig Davison
Justice For All by Craig Davison
Heavyweight Clash by Craig Davison
Grrrl Power by Craig Davison
Reach For The Sky by Craig Davison
Original Prankster by Craig Davison
Bat Leap by Craig Davison
Timberlyne (Paper) by Craig Davison
Timberlyne (Canvas) by Craig Davison
Timberlyne by Craig Davison
Swords Of A Thousand Men by Craig Davison
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat... by Craig Davison
Craig Davison, the established fine artist hailing from Sheffield, has spent the majority of his career to date making a living in the creative industries. Whether he’s been cartooning around in the arena of pre-school comics, animating computer games for troglodytes who eat, breath and sleep pixelated lives, creating and moulding action figures for slightly nerdy fans of Dr Who and Harry Potter or – as in his most recent incarnation – composing stunning paintings that transport all of us back to a better time and place. I.e. our childhood.

Initially finding his creative feet as a cartoonist, Davison worked on titles we all know and love. More so if you were a child of the 1970s and 80s. Who can forget The Wombles, The Shoe People, Huxley Pig and Bangers and Mash? In a departure from comics, Davison then tried his hand at being an animator and games designer in a rapidly emerging market back then, in a company at the vanguard of this movement. Zorro, The Hulk and The Hurricanes being just a few of the titles Davison worked on during this period, before he turned to sculpture. As you do. As a freelancer, Davison originated and manufactured creations including dragons, animals and teddy bears to bona fida action figures, answering sculpting briefs for Harry Potter and Dr Who amongst others.

Sadly, the sculpting took a bit of a hit, but as chance would have it Davison was alerted to the fact that fine art publishers, Washington Green were on the look-out for an apprentice to famous brush-worker, Alexander Millar. Albeit by means of a painting competition to determine the winner. So in late 2007 Davison decided to have a stab at the more traditional medium of art and gathered himself to paint for the first time. Lo and behold, Davison grabbed a top three slot and there and then was hooked by this old, new media. To him. And everything else is history, so to speak.

Davison’s work is very much residing in a child’s imagination. A great place to be. The kids he paints are lost in role playing, just like we all used to be, as we climbed trees, muddied our knees, raced our BMXs and pretended to be superheroes. And superheroes are often found as the soul provider in Davison’s stand-out work, as the character’s shadow (be it Batman, etc) sits atop the image as a physical interpretation of the child’s furtive imagination, as the child replicates the fictitious character’s exact posture beneath. The paintings capture a distinctive style of painting, helping to reveal an aspect of the imagination that can only be seen through art, and project humour, warmth, nostalgia and adventure, amid a carefree exterior, and a longing for days of old. Or the 1970s, as is generally the case with Davison’s work, which incidentally was responsible for the artist’s youth.

When pressed on the subject of ideas, Davison cites everything and anything as precursors, inferring that images and concepts are all around him on a daily basis, and that he commits these to his memory bank to revisit at a later date. The artist explains that these ideas then wrestle for attention in his mind, and admits that even when he has one painting on the go, the idea for the next one is formulating. Unlike a lot of his fine and contemporary artistic peers, Davison doesn’t forward plan and outline the chosen canvas with sketches prior to applying his paints, and stresses that just as soon as he’s done his rough doodle he’s good to go, and desperate to immerse himself in the painting.

Explaining how he sets about creating the individual, bespoke pieces, Davison tells of how he firstly rids the canvas of its default white surface area, and remedies this with the application of a brown or orange wash. Very 1970s, by all accounts. Then, he introduces a rag with which to sketch into the paint layer he’s just laid, and once Davison’s content with this effect, he’ll block out the shapes and shadows in a dark brown. He replicates this process for further five or six canvasses, in preparation for the application of the brushes and materials themselves, which will personify the works of art. He then makes any changes that are needed and adds colour and definition. When this is dry he adds glazes of colour over the whole canvas and then paints over the figures, again to “loosen” them up.

View All Art Works By Craig Davison