Jonathan Shaw

Noir I by Jonathan Shaw
Noir II by Jonathan Shaw
Oriental I by Jonathan Shaw
Oriental II by Jonathan Shaw
Fusion I by Jonathan Shaw
Fusion II by Jonathan Shaw
Fusion III by Jonathan Shaw
Lava I by Jonathan Shaw
Lava II by Jonathan Shaw
Lava III by Jonathan Shaw
Natural Contours I by Jonathan Shaw
Natural Contours II by Jonathan Shaw
Calypso Skies I by Jonathan Shaw
Calypso Skies II by Jonathan Shaw
Despite sounding like the hyperbolic introduction of an illusionist on stage, you’ll be relieved to learn that ‘the world of Jonathan Shaw’ is all about sweeping skies, vivid colours and smouldering horizons (according to the celebrated contemporary landscape artist’s website), which have been inspired by our man’s extensive travels. Rather than some Fisher-Price version of David Blaine, and their gravity and death-defying slights of hand and mirrored smokescreens. As artist introductions go, it’s a good one mind and grabs your attention. Although just one look at any of Shaw’s impressive art does the same trick and cuts out the wordy middle-man.

Born in Leeds, Yorkshire’s unofficial capital city in Northern England in 1959, Shaw did that thing painters did as children. i.e., loved to paint. Shaw (possibly) loved to paint more than other future artists loved to paint on account of his father being a professional artist; so he was actually brought up surrounded by art in various stages of pre and post production. So this is the bit where it’s normally written that ‘so-and-so was therefore destined to follow in their father’s creative footsteps’. Only this wouldn’t be factually accurate in Shaw’s case, as on leaving secondary school he ended up undertaking various unfulfilling and largely non-creative roles.

However Shaw always believed that he’d answer his artistic calling one day, only once he’d worked his way through vocational stuff it would appear. He finally landed a half decent creative position as an Interior Designer, and no sooner had he got his feet under the desk/used to that role, Shaw opted out totally. Stopping short of growing his hair unfeasibly long and joining a commune, he instead realised that the ordinary 9 – 5 regime wasn’t for him and resigned his sensible job, packed his bags and went all Christopher Columbus. Although not actually discovering any new worlds, Shaw travelled far and wide, all the time painting as he went. In fact, it was Shaw’s impromptu and in situ illustrative works which essentially funded his personal odyssey, as he quite literally sold work en route.

Realising that A) his work was sellable and B) that he REALLY did prefer a painter’s life, the confidence and morale boost was like a shot in the arm for a hitherto disenfranchised Shaw; and on eventually plotting coordinates for a return journey to his natively glamorous Yorkshire, Shaw arrived at a suitable conclusion. That he would open an art gallery there. Surrounding himself with artwork that he admired, alongside of witnessing the overwhelmingly positive response of customers filled Shaw with an acute sense of artistic purpose; and in the period which followed he manifested what he describes as some of his best work.

Still, not one to rest on his laurels, the six year itch kicked in roughly, er, six years down the line, as Shaw felt once again it was time to some on. At this juncture, moving on resulted in concentrating on a full time painting career. As a complete life/work overhaul panned out, Shaw also felt it appropriate time to free himself from the shackles of his previously more methodical style of painting, and replace it with a more free-flowing and altogether spontaneous presentation. Which he duly actioned. Painting directly onto canvas and board surfaces, Shaw witnessed a more stimulating and viscerally exciting approach to his work, and admits to have never looked back.

Shaw’s made the illustrate devourment of sublime, liquid colour-filled landscapes his own ever since, as softer, sweeping skies and seas beneath grab viewers by the metaphorical short and curlies, such is the vibrancy of their initial impact. And then some. Building on a reputation that marks him out as one of the UK’s leading contemporary landscape artists of his genre, he’s also been one of the most successful ones of the past decade or so; as his commercial appeal continues to go from strength to strength.

Acknowledgement, both peer and industry have followed to, as in 1999 Shaw was elected as both a Fellow of the British Society of Painters as well as the International Guild of Artists. Whilst in 2003 he was shortlisted for the ‘Best Up and Coming Artist’ award by the respected Fine Art Trade Guild. A feat which he achieved again, 12 months down the line. In that same calendar year, 2004 Shaw was also nominated for the Best Selling Artist award by the same industry body and which was repeated in 2005. Today Shaw’s individual and collective compositions are housed in numerous private collections across Europe and America, while galleries extensively showcase each new release. What’s more, selected pieces of Shaw’s visually uncompromising art are collected by household names like Dawn French and Lenny Henry amongst other high profile fans.

View All Art Works By Jonathan Shaw