Craft, technique, patience and originality are the four cornerstones on which Grant Searl’s works are founded. Assuming no substitute for persistence and self-application, Searl’s paintings are the product of his life and recollections so far. Memories from childhood, inspirations from popular culture and his insatiable appetite for books all inform the idiosyncratic and stylistic representations present in Searl’s work.
Son to a master tailor, precision and attention to detail are virtues that are ingrained in Searl’s paintings as much as they are in his genes. These qualities have been honed and refined over 25 years, first whilst studying art at Preston Polytechnic before – what’s credited as his real education – time as an interior decorator. This period, most of which was spent in clients’ home advising and planning, also meant time spent learning, perfecting and appreciating the craftsmanship of old artisan skills and techniques, now being lost to time. An irreplaceable by-product of which was a deeper understanding of the importance of colour and the restorative properties, on both mind and body, of traditional canvas art that conveys truly original visions from a modern, but personal, perspective.
This understanding and confident awareness of modern influences and tastes, combined with classical and timeless techniques, provide Searl with an understanding of, and appreciation for, a sympathetic but striking colour palette for modern and traditional, living spaces.
Christened Romantic Surrealism, Searl’s oil on canvas pieces are an eclectic mix of influences. Echoes of Surrealist masters Magritte, Di Chirico and Dali are combined with shades of pre-Raphaelite artists Millias and Holman-Hunt brought into the twenty first century with its subject matter. Nature, architecture, literature and, of course, human relationships, all provide a rich and inexhaustible seam of material. At times dreamlike and ethereal, at others dramatic and intense, but each as atmospheric as the next, Searl’s distinctive style is painstakingly created, building layer upon layer of oil over a period of months, to achieve a depth and vibrancy of colour that provides his trademark and his legacy. .