Alex Appleby

Alex Appleby is a 27-year-old artist born and raised in Lancaster, his paintings are inspired by the natural beauty of the northern English landscape. He draws upon his experiences growing up in this region to explore the rugged terrain, subtle textures, and vivid colours that make this place so special. His studies at Wimbledon UAL further developed his fascination with the complexities of painting and colour theory, this inspired him to experiment with different techniques and mediums. This has led him to primarily work with acrylic paint.

As he continues to develop his craft, he is increasingly interested in the ways in which painting can transform and enrich our surroundings. He draws inspiration from the world of interior design and strives to create works that harmonise with the spaces they inhabit. Trees and plants are a central theme in his work, this is out of respect for nature and the environment. One goal of his work is to beautify the trees and plants he sees that might be usually overlooked. He likes to put these plants into imagined scenarios, this makes his pictures really fun to paint as he is not confined by the restraints of realism.

He has exhibited at Castlegate House Gallery (2023), Studio West (2023), Fitzrovia Gallery (2022), and more.

 Photo of artist Alex Appleby


What did you want to be when you were growing up? And when did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?
From a young age, I always had a strong inclination towards becoming an artist. This passion was greatly influenced by my mother and brother, both of whom are talented painters themselves. It was during my time in primary school that I first discovered my talent for drawing, and from that point on, my focus and interest in art became unwavering.

Are there any specific artists or movements that have influenced your work?
In my formative years, I had the privilege of being exposed to numerous remarkable art exhibitions. The painters my mother introduced me to, such as Hughie O’Donoghue, Stephen Chambers, and Ian McKeever, had a profound impact on me. Their highly abstracted figurative work captivated my imagination and continues to inspire me to this day.

How and where do you find inspiration on a regular basis?
Recently, my partner, who is a digital colorist, has been a significant source of inspiration for me. I strive to create artwork that is influenced by the vibrant and captivating colors she employs in her practice. Additionally, my brother's work has always been a constant inspiration. We have a close working relationship, constantly sharing new discoveries of painters and techniques with each other.

What does your process look like from ideation to completion?
My creative process involves consistently creating digital paintings on my iPad. Sometimes, I adhere closely to a predetermined plan, while other times, I enjoy the spontaneity of starting a painting without any preconceived notions. This approach keeps my practice exciting and allows for unexpected discoveries throughout the artistic journey.

What emotions or thoughts do you wish to spark in viewers?
In my artwork, I aim to evoke a sense of playfulness, naivety, and complexity. I employ a combination of crisp and blurred lines in my paintings, striving to create pieces that are visually accessible yet challenging to execute. Ultimately, I aspire to push the boundaries of painting, aiming to achieve something that has never been done before. To accomplish this, I draw inspiration from a wide range of visual languages found both within and outside the art world.

How has your practice or style changed over time?
Over the years, my artistic practice has undergone significant transformations as I actively sought to learn and master various styles and mediums. This exploration has led me to the current state of my work, which stems directly from my imagination. I predominantly use acrylics as they allow for faster execution, and their resistance to yellowing over time is an added advantage. Additionally, I embrace modern technology as a means to propel the art of painting forward.

What is a common misconception that people have about artists or the art world?
One common misconception about artists and the art world is the belief that painters do not work as diligently as professionals in other fields. Due to the accessibility of painting tools, some may assume that anyone can effortlessly pick up a paintbrush and create art. However, what many fail to understand is the inherent stress and risk involved in the artistic process. Making one wrong decision can potentially undo weeks of work, leading to setbacks in one's career.