From Wood to Water

Since Classic Yacht TV produced 'Shaped by the Sea', a two-part film on artist James Dodds that chronicles his oil on linen paintings of working boats around Britain, the artist has been making head-way in producing a vast new collection of paintings.

In the run up to his latest solo exhibition at First Site Gallery, James Dodds recently he said to Emily Harris, director and producer of 'Shaped by the Sea', that "the angle we concentrated on and explored in the film; the relationship between myself as a painter and a boatbuilder has influenced these new paintings".

Below is a timelapse film that shows James Dodds recently working on a 20ft wide painting of Essex fishing Smack 'Peace'. The film shows the artist bringing together his skills of a boatbuilder and that of a painter. He is 'lofting out' his painting in the traditional way using chalk, string lines and battens to draw out the image much like a boat builder would "loft out" the plans of a boat in order to build it accurately.

Also in this new collection James Dodds has been experimenting with painting on wood, painting onto beach hut roofs as well as his well known medium of oil on linen pieces such as the 'Blue Boat', 2001, which was his first exploration into painting boats in oil in this way.

Number 1 (Brightlingsea One Design) 2015. 130 x 335cm Oil on beach hut roof. © James Dodds

Blue Boat, 2001. 48 x 96'' Oil on Linen. © James Dodds

James Dodds 'Wood to Water' exhibition at First Gallery – 12 December 2015 - 14 February 2016

James Dodds - Wood to Water sees the return of this popular local artist to the landmark Colchester gallery [First Site Gallery] after an epic voyage. In 2001, firstsite @ the minories held a retrospective exhibition called Shipshape tracking the painter and print-maker's solo course from boat builder to boat portrayer. The intervening fourteen years have been monumental for Firstsite and for James.

James Dodds - Wood to Water features paintings of local boats from the river Colne, and more broadly explores the evolution of small wooden fishing boats all down the East Coast. His linocuts link these beautiful and practical vessels to the people who built and used them. James celebrates the value of our local area, offering an insight into the spiritual and political role small boats and waterside communities have in his heart.
Ian Collins, writer, exhibition curator and champion of East Anglian Art has written the exhibition book. Ian was also the author of James's prize-winning biography Tide Lines in 2011, and curator of Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia at the Sainsbury Centre, in which James featured prominently, in 2013/14.

Colchester Fishing Smack, 153 x 610cm (oil on board in 5 panels) © James Dodds

Artist James Dodds in conversation with author Ian Collins

Thursday 14 January 2016, 7pm

James Dodds in conversation with Ian Collins, curator and writer. A screening of 'Shaped by the Sea' Emily Harris' film about artist will also be shown.

£5 / £4 concession / members free (includes a free drink)
The galleries will be open until 7pm. 

See First Site's website for more information:

Other events related to the James Dodds – Wood to Water exhibition: