Ross Eccles, born 13th November 1937, is a contemporary English artist and painter. He was born in Blackburn, England and grew up close by in the small Lancashire village of Mellor.
Ross was educated at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School before studying Architecture at the Birmingham School of Architecture. He practiced as an architect for 30 years, firstly in England and then in Canada, before settling in Ireland where he ran his own practice up until 1992.
He has been based in Dublin, Ireland for almost 40 years, retiring from Architecture in 1992 in order to devote himself to art full-time.
His early work and style was influenced by his architectural training and was in the form of architectural sketches and watercolours. By the early 1990s he had begun to develop a more twisted, abstract style of painting as a reaction to the rigidity and structure that he had faced as an architect.
His architectural background still undoubtedly has an influence on his artworks, as his subjects frequently include familiar architectural landmarks and building structures, although these are painted in an entirely new light that reflects the artist’s own vision, with bold colours and broken lines. In recent years, Ross’s style has become looser and his brushstrokes more obvious and less defined as he experiments more and more with acrylic paint.
His paintings are created to provide a fresh perspective on otherwise mundane subjects and to free the viewer from the confinements and limitations of everyday existence. Ross says:
“There is no need to copy an image exactly because it is more exciting for a viewer to read into a painting, gently guided by the artist’s triggers, so that they can make their own judgement on the artwork.”
Ross often gives demonstrations to school students in the hope that he can get them to see the world around them in a new way and change their mindset in regards to life and art. He believes that conventional teaching “moulds people into similar patterns and suppresses natural individuality”.
Ross believes that people should be open-minded and think more about what they could do to add to society rather than being apathetic in their regard for it. In an artist’s statement in 2008, Ross proclaimed that, “pushing the boundaries of art through the application of inventive ideas and energy is all I strive for”.
There is a lot of movement within his works and the emphasis is on the importance of colour and light over line and accuracy. He says:
“Rather than recreating the subject precisely I want to re-create the sense of what the eye captures when it looks at the subject and merge that with an element of fantasy to create an original vision of an everyday subject matter.”
As an artist Ross wants to share his vision and thoughts, with a yearning to articulate his visceral emotions through a scope of works ranging from minimalist figures to complex worlds of colour and line. Because of this he is a continually evolving painter who is not limited to a particular style or medium and varying influences can easily be seen when examining his growing body of works.
Elements of Surrealism, Cubism and Abstract Expressionism can also be observed in his quirky paintings, and he has said himself that artists like Salvador Dali, Picasso and Pollock have had a profound influence on his style.
He sees his art as being highly autobiographical because each painting is a part of his being and his existence, a tangible reflection and extension of his self. A book revealing more about the artist’s life and work, “Ross: a Journey into Art” , is due to be published in autumn 2008.
If you are, or know of any local artists (painters, photographers, potters, sculptors, etc) located or based in and around Manchester please let us know, and if appropriate, we’ll try to include them. Contact us directly by email.