Join us as we celebrate the marvels of familiar scenes, seeking to remind us all that there is wonder in the ordinary.
Through his intricate paintings, Liam finds appreciation in the everyday moments that shape our lives.
We asked the artist…
How would you describe your work?
It’s a tricky one, I’d say it’s an idiosyncratic view celebrating normal life using a variety of media. I like to take notice of the ordinary things and to celebrate them.
What inspires you?
The Ordinary World. Whether it’s the place we live, our nearest and dearest, or even ourselves, the trouble with ‘ordinary’ is there being so much of it. There is a tendency to no longer ‘see’ when looking at people and things with which we are familiar; it becomes difficult to appreciate their unique beauty.
Like my influences: Spencer and Lowry, I try to notice and celebrate the ordinary things around us; believing much of life’s genuine and lasting pleasures are those right in front of our eyes and under our noses.
People and places. I prefer to work in front of the subject if possible: You can capture so much more in the moment and space – I also get to chat to passers-by who feed into my work with rich stories and fascinating conversation.
For me, working purely in the studio would be like painting through a letter box.
Influences. The painters L. S. Lowry and Stanley Spencer – alongside Walter Sickert and the narratives of William Hogarth – have the greatest influence on my development as an artist, with music and song also playing a part in an O’Farrell original. Often, particularly, in his street scenes, I aim to capture the flavour of songs like The Beatles’ ‘Penny Lane’, a song that on the surface, is catchy and cheerful, but has a darker, richer, melancholy running underneath.
In summary, I feel there’s nothing ordinary about the ordinary because, even there, magic can always be found if you look hard enough.
What materials do you generally use?
Mainly watercolour and oil paint for the final images though really its all about the initial pencil drawings.
What’s been your favourite project to work on so far?
Probably the painting of Denmark Street in London. I was experimenting with a new set of tonal values, and it came out as I wanted. I really enjoyed the subject matter too, the old and new together.
What are you currently working on?
A painting of Little Venice in Maida Vale, London. It involves the canal, the boats and the city houses too.
Where can we find more of your work?
On my website https://www.liamofarrell.com/shop/.