Drawing and painting is therapy and we could all do with some of that at the moment. These are landscapes by a bloke I went to college with way back in the 60’s and who had the somewhat dubious pleasure of sharing the same house with me and others in Rusholme, in Manchester. It was certainly not a place to rush home to and when my father visited to help me with my luggage I detected certain misgivings not just about the area, but about the premises. I would not let him through the front door with all its bell pushes and when he asked me to describe it I merely said “spartan”, quickly followed by, “but better than school”. He went very quiet. If memory serves me right there was a lady who worked nights upstairs.
In the next room lived Joe Wilson and another bloke called Bob, both of them fine art students. My abiding memory of Joe from that time has nothing to do with art but more to do with music. Walking into his room, probably to ask him something inconsequential, I could hear very loud music with Joe on the bed playing what’s known as air guitar these days with a broom handle. I left it for a short while before interrupting him with my request. At least he had his pants on.
Joe’s been doing more than that since and in my recent trip to the North I met him with Dave a mutual friend and former Manchester College of Art lecturer. I haven’t seen Joe since 1967.
He’s now one of Ireland’s foremost landscape painters and looking at his work you can see why. He goes out there to draw these scenes, walking the mountains of Ireland and recording them in all their glory.
Hopefully you will find these as therapeutic to view as I did. The energy in them and the feeling for colour and mood are really something to behold. All painted with palette knife from large charcoal drawings.
He’s come a long way from playing air guitar in Rusholme.
To see more of Joe’s work take a look at his website: Joe Wilson
Or take a look at this article with more in depth words about Joe and his painting: