Given how little of Trevor Chamberlain’s work has appeared in print, this book deserves a celebration in itself. One of the most popular and well-loved painters working today, Trevor is very much a painter’s painter and he is fully at home in both oils and watercolours, encapsulating the atmosphere of his subjects in a style that is very much his own.
The first impression of one of Trevor’s paintings is often one of busy-ness and detail, that there is a lot going on, yet, on further examination, it can be seen that this is captured with the greatest economy; there isn’t one brushstroke more than is necessary and small details, such as faces are often left blank., the viewer being left to fill them in. The skill of the artist doing this is to provide enough visual clues for this to happen without thought.
Many artists have a subject with which they’re most associated, but you can’t really say that there is a classic Trevor Chamberlain painting. Trevor paints what catches his eye and what he sees, a landscape, a street scene, a fairground – his scenes always give the impression of being as they were at one moment in time rather than being made or worked up.
As well as being a history of Trevor’s work, this book also encapsulates a short history of colour reproduction. It isn’t so many years ago that books included very little colour because of the cost and difficulties of faithful reproduction. Some of the images here are not perhaps as good as they might be if they had been originated today, but this is a small price to pay for the sheer scope that’s offered and the book should please any admirer of Trevor’s work.
Year published: 2006
List price: £34.99