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During my Fine Art painting Degree Course, at Birmingham College of Art in the early 70’s, the

American Abstract Expressionists were my heroes  .

One of them Ad Reinhardt said ‘Art is art and everything else is everything everything .’

More accessible is the remark by one of my lecturers Roy Able ‘You can’t paint like a cowboy if

you live in Birmingham.’

In 1977 when exhibiting at the Richard Demarco Gallery in Edinburgh, Richard took me to a

lecture by one of my heroes Robert Motherwell. He was not the wild Expressionist painter I

expected but a more of philosopher.

I used the expressionist style later on to create a world based on the western fictional genre

popular in the 1950s to 60s. In these films the ‘goodies’ wore white hats and they always won in

the shootouts. Mexicans were never the heroes of these films. Following visits to Mexico I had fun

reimagining the narratives by painting the ‘Sombreromen’ centre stage.

Drawing has always an being an integral part of my practice. I often use elements of other

painter’s artworks as in the1970s when I used the angst driven spiritual techniques of Abstract

Expressionism without the angst.

Patrick Hallissey

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