Emerson Mayes is a Yorkshire born artist who has experienced that rarest of things: success both critical and commercial since the beginning of his career as a painter. From when he graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University in 1994, he has enjoyed a growing reputation for a fresh, honest and uncontrived approach to his work. With his roots firmly in the British landscape tradition, Emerson’s work reflects his obvious passion for this vast and complex subject. Although he strives to achieve a direct response, he is never tied down by the ‘topographical’ elements in the landscape.
Whenever possible he works outside, directly from the landscape. These pieces are then brought into the studio, where they can be judged as paintings in their own right, no work leaves for an exhibition until he is completely happy with it, he says ‘that is when the sheer beauty of the landscape is balanced exactly with the absolute joy and excitement of the actual act of painting’.
Winning the Young Artist of the Year Award in 1995 was the first of a number of major awards he has received. This together with successful shows across the country and in London has resulted in Emerson having an evergrowing number of loyal collectors.
At the start of 2010 Emerson made the brave decision to concentrate entirely on his first love, drawing. He took this process a step further by honing his skills as a printmaker. He took up the challenge of a completely new subject – that of the wildlife that has surrounded him in the landscape all these years. His main aim is to produce work that has the life and impact of the wildlife he depicts as well as retaining the artistic (quality of line, composition, etc.) that takes the work beyond the mundane.
The reaction to this new work was better than he could have dreamed of, winning ‘The St. Cuthbert’s Mill Printing Award’ after only a couple of months. Throughout 2011 Emerson worked on a major collaboration with 108 Fine Art and the National Trust, in a project capturing twelve months spent working at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. This gave Emerson the perfect opportunity to bring together his landscape and wildlife work.
Emerson’s work can be found in many Public, Private and Corporate collections worldwide, including the House of Lords.