About the lion Robert is a conservationist and takes reference from wildlife magazines, books and photographs. Starting with a large brush and thin yellow paint, he blocked in the shape of the lion and marked out the eyes and mouth while the paint was still wet, then applied contrasting colours and let them drip...
About the sponsor As the fastest growing network of galleries nationwide, Castle Fine Art lives by its motto ‘Your World, Our Art®’ by revolutionising the way people, view experience and buy art in the UK. “Few artists are able to capture the true spirit of an animal like Robert Oxley. He is a passionate conservationist, and received a commendation from the esteemed BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year panel in 2010. He has long felt an affinity for big cats, which led to him paint an original portrait of Maya from the BBC Two hit television show, ‘Big Cats About the House’ which was auctioned to raise money for the charity. He has created ‘Leonidas’ to represent Castle Fine Art in the Lions of Windsor sculpture trail, which can be viewed outside of our gallery in King Edward Court, and I would encourage everyone to come and see him!” - Ian Weatherby-Blythe, Group Managing Director, Castle Fine Art
About the artist Following a childhood spent roaming the forests of a North East coal mining village, his affinity with nature is evident in every instinctive paint drip and brushstroke. Immersing himself in Pop Surrealism, Robert presents viewers with what he calls “psychedelic natural history”. Robert usually starts with a two-inch brush and blocks in some shapes to decide where the eyes and mouth will be placed – usually in a very thin yellow wash. As this is drying, he cuts in the form of the animals. Once this is dry, he quickly covers the area with yellow paint and lets it run down the canvas before building up colour with successively thicker paint. He adds: "The more I can throw down and the more abstract the shapes are, the more enjoyable the battle is. I’ve heard that the abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock said that if he planned a painting, he’d never make a mark. My work depends on spontaneity and a free association: I don’t really need an inspiration, I just do it." Robert has a studio in a cotton mill in Stockport, Greater Manchester, which is open to the public. He also has a studio at home, which is where his work is created. The artist wakes up early and takes his dog out before painting from around 8.30am to 5pm. After enjoying some family time, he paints again until 1am. He listens to music while distorting his pieces, but tunes into podcasts, documentaries and audiobooks when adding the finer details. As an animal lover, he has recently worked on projects with The Big Cat Sanctuary and the National K9 Memorial to raise money for animals in need.
Where? Outside Castle Fine Art, 2 King Edward Court, Windsor SL4 1TF. Viewing 1000-1800. Sun 1100-1630. NB. After 10th September, they are moving to 25 Windsor Royal Shopping, SL4 1PJ.