David Questa - Paul Bramley


An exhibition of abstract and figurative paintings responding to the colours, textures and energy of Le Grand Depart in Yorkshire.


3 July - 31st August 2014


Sunnybank Mills, Farsley, Leeds, West Yorkshire


Open Tues-Sun, 10-4pm




Sunnybank Mills, Farsley, West Yorkshire

6 July 2014
Exhibition is now on and the tour has now passed through Yorkshire.

Photos coming soon of the exhibition...

sat on the hill near Kettlewell

Cray - Kidstones in progress

looking at Michael Andrews

Mobile easel on Grinton Moor - the midgies were biting.

above Cray, Kidstones Pass...second painting of this view

Holme Moss sketch - the light and colours constantly changing.

8th June 2014

...Need to get back out into the landscape to freshen things up a bit...paintings getting a bit bogged down with detail.

6th July 2014

Just under a month to go, 20 paintings at various stages of completion...better get on with it!



19th February 2014

12 ten minute sketches (2 x 5mins), charcoal on paper 25 x 25cm.

From the photos but will use these to plan 'on site' sketches. Got some Fabriano Artistico paper which should stand up to whatever the weather throws at it.


18th February 2014

Drove the Leeds - Harrogate route up into the Dales on Sunday.

Just did some quick timed sketches from photos taken there. 100 sketches in a hundred minutes (1 minute each).

2nd February 2014

Had another look at the Mill and it's a great space with lots of light. Thinking of 5 or 6 big cityscape paintings and a series of drawings of places along the route. I want to keep it fresh and not get too bogged down with detail. Cold weather will probably mean drawing quickly. Be good to get some snow with dry stone walls carving up the landscape.

28th January 2014

In July this year I will be exhibiting alongside fellow York artist Paul Bramley at Sunnybank Mills.

The theme of the exhibition is 'Departure' and it will coincide with the start of the Tour de France in Yorkshire.


My plan is to visit places along the route of the Tour as a starting point for drawings and paintings.


Referring to the work of other painters will also be a starting point for my own responses. 

As a secondary Art teacher I am planning to record and document the process of putting together this collection of work. I am interested to see whether attempting to do this (in the way that students are expected to) will help or hinder the creative process.



Antoni Tapies - texture, marks, muted colours, little bits of bright colours.

Philip Wolfhagen, contemporary Tasmanian painter - nice aerial perspective in this one.

Henry Villierme, 1957 'Hilltop View'. I didn't know of this artist, but found him on a search for Bay Area Figuration - the collective name for a group of painters from the San Francisco area in the mid 20th century. Diebenkorn on Henry Villierme...

"Beyond this Henry's painting had, and still has, instinctual understanding of that universal human activity in which colors are applied to a surface.

Henry's capacity to bring a work to a final state of open, nonintrospective resolution is impressive. There is no one whom I would feel better about describing as "a real painter."

Anyone who can bring to realization a canvas on a hilltop in a high wind as I once observed is to be profoundly respected." RICHARD DIEBENKORN January 1992

Hughie O'Donoghue

My mate John Davison - someone once said of John, 'he paints like an engine running' - I like that. Heavily textured in parts and near bare canvas in others.

Just remembered these William Congdon paintings from Kettle's Yard, Cambridge. I don't think he was all that well known but there's quite a collection of his in the house there. Impasto paint drawn back into with the end of a brush (I'm guessing).

William Congdon. Same colours, slightly less abstracted - they work better as pure abstracts for me.

Christo and Jeanne Claude - they wrapped stuff up in the landscape and made these great sketches to work out their ideas - even the little bits of masking tape look good.

A comedy cloud hangs over San Francisco for most of the summer (like in a Tom and Jerry cartoon), but hop over the Golden Gate bridge to Sausalito and it's all sunshine and light. Diebenkorn went there in the 1940s, this being one of his early works.

David Hockney, Eccleshill, 1957. I'd really like to see what would have happened if David Hockney had carried on painting sombre pictures of the Bradford suburbs (probably very little which is why he didn't). Despite it's dismalness I like the honesty of this painting. Not sure about all those East Yorkshire ones in mad colours - I think he was just trying to fill the Royal Academy.

Another muted palette...Antonio Lopez Garcia stood on a traffic island in Madrid for 6 years in the late 70s / early 80s and painted this view looking up at 'Gran Via'. A local shop let him keep his stuff there so he didn't have to carry it home every day. The composition is split in half which seems a bit tricky, but it works. There's a similar view in Newcastle (also a Rolex shop), but I'm not sure you could get away with painting in the street for long. Last time I got a camera out in the Toon they thought I was paparazzi.

...as amazing as Lopez Garcia is, it's impossible not to admire the accuracy and timeless realness of his work that goes way beyond photographic representation, you've got to wonder about a bloke who spends this long making a painting of a dirty toilet.

Andreas Gursky's photo of the Bahrain Grand Prix - remember seeing this in Melbourne. He also does big panoramic photos of supermarkets - amazing detail and image quality. This could also almost be a Diebenkorn painting.

That Diebenkorn again.

In this painting of Northumberland by Edward Burra from 1972, the landscape is flattened to read as an extreme vertical. In this way it echoes the work of Wayne Thiebaud and Richard Diebenkorn. This flattening of the picture surface creates an semi-abstract image. The cool blue-greens are a bit like Corot.  There's a few little Corot paintings at Leeds Art Gallery.

Richard Diebenkorn, Cityscape, 1962. Somehow the composition just works. Maybe it's all those diagonals.

Wayne Thiebaud, 2001. When not painting cupcakes, Thiebaud makes landscapes which like Diebenkorn usually take an elevated perspective. Slightly odd colours and diagonal lines create dynamic movement.

John Virtue, 2004 - He looked at old paintings in the National Gallery and then made some new paintings with lots of messy black and white paint. He used to be a postman and sketched the same view every day. A shame he never uses colour - that would be really interesting to see.

Franz Kline, 1956 - compositional genius or random marks on a canvas? There's something appealing about random marks on a surface anyy way (like patched-up roads or a lorry that's spilled a can of paint) so maybe that's why these work - also it doesn't look like he's tried too hard (even though he probably has).