New Series: Roundhay Park

"After visiting the park for over twenty years (and wearing out two and a half dogs in the process) it has become a familiar and known terrain, its landmarks firmly rooted in the history of where I live and work.

I wanted to attempt a visual reappraisal of the landscape and rather than paint those familiar landmarks I wanted to focus on its wild beauty. For a city park it has an unruly nature that once you’re off the beaten track seems untamed (although we know it’s very well maintained).

There are so many elements of the park to inspire those that appreciate natural themes. For me it’s about a connection with vital open space, the reflections on the water; cloud; stone; wood. Its wildlife, the birds and the sounds of crows, rooks and waterfowl. Colour, texture, natural form transformed by constantly changing weather, the passing of the seasons, time rolling on".

David's new series "Roundhay Park" is available to view and buy at Art Roundhay Park until 3rd June.

10am - 4pm, The Mansion Conservatory, Roundhay Park, Mansion Lane, Leeds LS8 2HH. 

His series can be purchased from this website here (click through).



Portuguese Gardens

The surroundings gardens of a hotel provided the inspiration for a playful series of images using the seemingly random layout of trees and shrubs. The lack of formality lead to some unusual juxtapositions of shape and colour. Initially a series of collages, I really enjoyed introducing a looser style when applying the paint for the foliage and flowers which is contrasted with the almost flat background.

All original pieces from this series, using acrylic on board, are available to buy from this website through this link here. 

If you would prefer to see the originals, please contact me at to arrange a viewing.

The English Art Co.

It’s been a busy time and we’ve some exciting news. As my art evolves, I’m aware that these posts have a commercial note, which is too far removed from my creative processes and the core of my work.

We’ve decided to separate our works - David Lyon Art will be solely my painting and drawing, the creative process, techniques, sketches and gallery exhibitions and news.

The English Art Company is a new company, set up by Catriona, which focuses on design-led prints, greeting cards, stationery and homewares, the more “commercial” end of my art i.e. Wildflowers, Just One Blackbird and Inkflowers. The English Art Co. will license my images (not just mine but other artists too) to produce greeting cards, stationery, prints, note journals, homewares….it’s early days but when things are up and running, I’ll let you know. Here’s a taster.

Progress can be followed at and on Instagram/TheEnglishArtCo

Roundhay Open Artist Studios Art Event 2015 - LEEDS

The Roundhay Open Studios Event 2015 is an annual event to show the diverse talents of local professional artists. On Sunday 26th April 2015, visual artists in the LS8 area of Leeds, West Yorkshire, opened up their art studios for the day.

"I opened up our home to showcase my original art, acrylic on boards, sketches and works in progress - some pieces only friends and family had seen before. I talked about my work and the creative processes and over 50 pieces at home were on display as well as a selection of limited edition giclée prints and greeting cards. It was a busy day, helped by the sunshine - over 100 visitors on the day with a few more the following week."

Please contact me on 07968 131866 if you are interested in viewing any of my pieces at home.

All of my work can be found on my website here.

Facebook: Roundhay Open Artist Studio

Details: here

10 highlights for 2014 for David Lyon Art

1. Realising that commitment and dedication to my craft brings positive results;

2. Finding out that taking the easy route isn't always the best;

3. Finding that having a professional approach to how I work engenders creative self-respect and the respect of my peers;

4. Realising that it's essential to use your own ideas;

5. Being comfortable with calling myself 'An Artist';

6. Realising that not everybody who makes 'Art' is 'An Artist';

7. The feedback I received from people who chanced upon the 'Wildflowers' series exhibited at St. James's University Hospital was positive and life affirming, meaning I'd reached people and communicated  - which is what I set out to do;

8. Having positive support and interest from galleries who chose to display and sell my work;

9. Making things - paintings, prints, cards, calendars - that people want to buy;

10. And last, but far from least, having the love, support and help of family and friends (you know who you are). Thank you.

"Wildflowers" Christmas Gift Ideas

I'm aware 2014 has been very much about my "Wildflowers" series. To round up 2014, I have produced a few gift ideas for Christmas from my “Wildflowers” series:

·       2015 Wildflowers calendar – showing a few of the “Wildflowers” original sketches and acrylic on boards – available from my website here.

·       Limited edition giclée prints – mounted and unframed available from my website here, or mounted and framed here.

·       Canvas prints - available from my website here.

Most of my images are available as limited edition giclée prints - please enquire

Where to next? Inside my sketchbook

I’ve had a busy time the last few weeks but it's time to get back into the studio.

My garden is often a source of inspiration. Having noticed a decline in the number of small birds visiting recently (which has been widely reported) I set about making some scribbly sketches with a view to reinterpreting them as larger pieces. I found they naturally fell into seasons depending on the coloured background - the blues and purples referencing the colder months, yellows and greens the warmer. I think the deep reds and oranges are Autumn. Simple colour psychology.

I wanted the simple bird shapes to denote the absence of the bird rather than a presence - a ghostly silhouette. There is also a fox that makes an appearance but he too has been absent.

From the Archives: Exit Series - Acrylic on Boards – 2001

Exit - The Fan

Exit - The Shadow 

Exit - Dead Flowers

The “Exit” series was made in an attempt to capture feelings about the horror of 9/11 prompted by a newspaper photograph. The three paintings (which I see as a triptych when hung) use deeply textured, monochromatic acrylic with found objects embedded and attached to the surface. 

The Atrium Gallery Exhibition - Leeds

My art show at The Atrium Gallery has been booked for two years. It's difficult to obtain premium space to exhibit art in the Leeds area so I'm really pleased and grateful that the selection panel at St. James's agreed to show this series.

Due to the nature of the venue there are restrictions on the type of images that can be displayed, so no sex, glamour, religion, violence, death or politics. Fortunately at the time of submission, I'd been working on some very colourful, optimistic flower images.

Upon securing the exhibition site it was decided that I should work towards filling the space with images based around the initial idea. So making larger versions of the initial six that were chosen to publish as greeting cards seemed a logical step.

The larger paintings took six months to complete, each one in succession. Some are truer to the original sketches than others but the fact that I was using a different medium - acrylic - meant that the colours probably wouldn't be as intense as the originals - oil pastel and crayon.

The smaller paintings followed and I was keen to capture the looseness of the scribbles that I'd drawn which reference the original series. I'll have the notebook with me at the Private View on 7th August so that I can demonstrate what I'm talking about. All in all a busy 18 months so I'm hoping the show will look as good as I think it will and be good publicity for Yorkshire Cancer Centre. Let's hope we can raise funds for a much needed cause (25% commission from my sales will go to Yorkshire Cancer Centre).

The Tetley, Leeds

I visited The Tetley today and was impressed by the space and ambience. It's a centre for contemporary art, housed in the former 1931 Tetley Brewery headquarters. The heritage of Tetley’s was still very evident, the original features of the building have been retained - lots of oak panelling and a boardroom with chandeliers.

There's a very accommodating cafe/bar (selling cask Tetley's I'm glad to say) where the service and coffee were good - open from 9am to 11pm. The main space for the art is white and minimal - on display: "Downtime" a sculptural installation by Ben Cain and "Skittish" by Lisa Watts and Samara Scott - "a dense scenery of shapes, smells and forms through her use of unconventional materials - everyday objects stretched to their upmost capabilities". Various oak panelled rooms were housing smaller satellite installations/exhibitions.

As ever, with most "contemporary art" I feel like I'm missing something if I don't understand the concept by the visual alone and then have to read a small thesis on what the "art" is about. Should the audience have to work harder than the artist to gain anything from what is on display? Does the "art" even need an audience to be relevant?

However, Leeds definitely needs this important space and I'm proud to have it on my doorstep. I'll definitely be visiting again - art and beer in one place! What more could I ask for?

David Lyon – Orso Major Interview

I was recently interviewed by Gita Joshi, director at Orso Major Art Gallery where a selection of my work is currently available. 

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

To create, in particular drawing and painting, is my vocation. I didn't choose to do this, it chose me, and so the compulsion to create is inspirational in itself. To make marks on paper, canvas and board is good enough reason and my driving force. If you then add into the equation the ideas that take hold of the imagination, the things that resonate (in my case biology, poetry, music), the dreams and nightmares, aesthetics, an appreciation of the rustic, the imperfect, the decayed, the melancholic appeal of transient beauty, then you have more than inspiration you have a way of life. This is reflected in the many ways I choose to work, from the joyful, exuberant, vibrant, colourful paintings to the subdued, textural abstracts and darker figure studies.

What Medium do you work in and what are its challenges?

I work primarily in oil pastel, crayon, ink, charcoal and acrylic.

Oil pastel has such an intensity of colour that it is therapy itself to work with. I dissolve it with white spirit to achieve larger, flatter areas, which I can then work into with more pastel or crayon.

Charcoal is very messy but I've started to incorporate that into my work. I found some charcoal pencils not long ago that have a beautiful rich blackness to them so I bought in bulk.

The drying time of acrylic paint can be a challenge but I've learnt how to exploit its properties - wiping, scratching, sanding, transferring, concealing and revealing. It's a remarkably versatile medium in that it can be as subtle as watercolour (good for glazing) but dries as hard as nails.

What is your art about?

My art is about discovery, realisation, beauty, the passing of time, attempting to make permanent what is, inevitably, impermanent. It's about communication, alerting others and myself to the world around us. It's about seeing things in a different way, the things that we wouldn't notice ordinarily. It's about the absolute magic of being alive and the awareness of the potential inside every one of us.

What are you doing when you are not making art?

Living my life in as simple a way as possible.

Which film have you watched most recently and found inspirational?

There are so many films that I've enjoyed and found inspirational. The film "Pollock" has stayed with me over the years - a great performance by Ed Harris. I just wanted to get into the studio and draw and paint immediately after I'd seen it. But there are other more subtle stories that linger. I recently stumbled across 'Everyday' with John Simm and Shirley Henderson, which I thought was wonderful. Filmed over a period of five years the children in the film family grow before us as they adapt to life with/without a father who is imprisoned. Very moving and beautifully shot.

How often do you exhibit?

When it's logistically possible and I feel that my work needs an outing. It can look astoundingly different in a new space.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

Nothing out of the ordinary. People showing their interest and appreciation by buying a piece of work is memorable.

What is your creative process like?

I would say that my creativity is part of a process that is firmly embedded in my psyche. I've learnt that it has shaped me and that it has always been present and dictates how I respond to the world. Mysteriously certain things grab my attention which I then have to do something about in a new and interesting way. I make notes but I've probably no need as I carry the idea around in my head anyway. Sometimes ideas don't make it - I may see it somewhere else or the idea may prove to be derivative, similar to another artist's work. I try to be as original as I can and to have faith in my own ideas although it's impossible not to be in awe of certain past masters and learn from their unique vision.

Do you ever experience creative blocks?

Yes I do. There are times in a life when events overwhelm and we are distracted or temporarily unable to adapt to our situation. Certain things take time to process. I find that to create with honesty, integrity and authenticity I have to be free of any emotional burden. I need to be calm and unshackled. But you can't have the light without the dark, the pleasure without the pain. I've learnt that most processes are cyclical or at least have peaks and troughs, difficult though it is to accommodate.

How many pieces are you working on at any one time?

I work on larger pieces one at a time. But I like to surround myself in the studio with my work as it informs the piece I'm working on.

What would be your dream project?  

I've just been reading briefly about Matisse's commission to design the stained glass for The Chapel of the Rosary in Vence on the French Riviera. I bet that was a lovely job to work on - all that light and colour - although, like Matisse, I have no religious inclination. I'd love to make art that enriched people's lives on a daily basis - so in a public space. I've always loved the glass ceiling in The Victoria Quarter in Leeds designed by Brian Clarke - again light and brilliant colour even on a dull day in Yorkshire.

Are you working on anything at the moment that you can tell us about?

I'm currently working on my summer exhibition - August to October - at The Bexley Gallery in St. James's Hospital, Leeds. It's the entrance to the cancer wing designed in such a way that it's full of light and space. There are certain criteria to exhibiting given the nature of the building, so I'm working on the “Wildflower” series that I'm increasing in size to four feet by three from the original sketches. My aim is to fill the space with life affirming colour, pieces that visitors and patients will hopefully find optimistic and joyful.


David Lyon at Orso Major Art Gallery, Waterloo, London

I'm pleased to announce that from this week a selection of my work will be available at Orso Major Art Gallery, a contemporary gallery showcasing affordable, collectible art with a focus on mixed media, located in the heart of Waterloo, London.  Check out their on-line gallery

Address: 19 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, London SE1 7RJ.

Opening Hours: Monday: Closed Tuesday - Friday: 11.00 – 18.00 Saturday: 11.00 – 14.00 Sunday: Closed




The Seventh Pot is Born!

 A by-product of mixing paint in a plastic bowl. Once the acrylic dries completely it is waterproof, so I tend to mix one colour on top of another - so the layers build up in unused paint over weeks, if not months, until eventually it is thick enough to separate from the the original bowl. A bowl made of paint! I suppose I could carry on using them to mix paint in but I'm becoming quite attached to them as objects in themselves each with their own characteristics and a 3 dimensional record of the time spent creating 2 dimensional paintings.