A keen runner and fell walker, artist Anthony Platt has developed a distinctive style, finding inspiration in the rural landscapes of the Ribble Valley, Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales
For Anthony Platt the past 18 months has seen him evolve as an artist – he used his time during lockdown to develop a style that has gone on to win awards and seen him appear on TV as a ‘wildcard’ artist on Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year.
While he has always loved to paint as a hobby, his new ‘painterly’ style of working is proving popular with art enthusiasts and he is now selling his vibrant landscapes at local galleries.
“My style has evolved – it is much looser using the brush strokes to capture what I see. My main inspiration comes from the stunning landscapes of the Ribble Valley. I use broad brushstrokes and colour to capture a moment in time and the feelings I have when inspired to paint a particular scene. It is quite an emotional experience,” explains Anthony, who uses oils on board.
“I use a limited palette of vibrant colours. I will start with a pink wash which sometimes I allow to come through into the final painting.
“I think I have become much more confident in what I do and in my style of painting – it feels like I am not trying too hard. I’ve also learnt not to over-work a painting. It’s important to know when to stop, when a painting is finished or if it needs more.
“I have realised paintings sometimes don’t need a high level of detail to capture a scene or emotion. It’s often better to keep it simple – I sometimes take a step back and leave a painting and return to it the next day.”
A keen walker and a runner with Ribble Valley-based Running4CF, Anthony often takes photographs when he is out walking or running, to find inspiration.
“I love the landscapes of the Ribble Valley, the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. Pendle Hill has also been a big influence on my work, along with the Forest of Bowland – the colours of the trees are stunning.”
After leaving St Augustine’s School in Billington, Anthony went on to complete a one-year foundation course in art and design and a degree in illustration at UCLan.
Moving to Whalley, four years ago, Anthony, made a conscious decision to work on his style during lockdown: “I thought, ‘this is the time’. I no longer had the commute to Manchester every day with my work. By the time I got home, it didn’t leave me any time for painting.
“Like everyone else, it was an anxious time, but it was also very productive. I started running every day and when I started to paint, there was no pressure. The timing was perfect.”
Anthony began to paint prolifically, producing work that was totally different to his previous paintings.
“Twenty years ago, I would paint what I would describe as industrial landscapes in acrylic and mixed medium. My style changed frequently,” adds Anthony, who has completed marathons and half marathons, as well as a 70-mile Hadrian’s Wall run.
Gaining confidence in his painting, he applied to appear on Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year, hosted by Frank Skinner – he has since appeared on the programme, which is filmed at various locations and features both amateur and professional artists: “One was filmed at Fountains Abbey and the last time in Gateshead. We were expected to paint ‘en plein air’ so I was out of my comfort zone. The weather played a big part when filming – on one occasion it was windy and raining so it became quite a challenge.
“When you’re competing you’re always tempted to see what other artists are doing – it really does put you under pressure and can be quite intimidating, but I learnt such a lot. It was good to see the way other artists work and their different styles.”
After successfully appearing on the programme, Anthony felt he had the confidence to enter local competitions including Create Longridge, during which he produced a scene from Jeffrey Hill looking out over Parlick – his painting sold straight away.
In June this year he entered Paint the Town Blackburn painting a scene near the Town Hall of an elderly lady wearing a mask, reflective of the times we are living in. His painting came second: “I was really surprised,” recalls Anthony, who went on to take Paint Padiham’s first prize in September with ‘A Glimpse of Gawthorpe’.
Anthony, who volunteers as a Mencap mentor, now exhibits his work in Longridge Gallery.
“The work I put in over lockdown has really paid off. I really pushed myself and things have taken off recently – people really seem to like what I do.”