One of the eternal problems faced by artists attempting to make a living from painting and drawing is predicting what the public will buy.
It is, says Holmfirth artist Ross Moore, “a mystery.”
“If I could fathom why people buy what they do then I’d be made,” adds Ross, whose work is being exhibited over Christmas in Huddersfield Art Gallery’s shop, Gallery 6.
However, he’s clearly getting something right because his work – much of it landscapes and images of animals – does sell.
And he attracts commissions, although he is often bemused by the subject matter he is asked to capture – from dead rabbits to chickens.
“This year I’ve had quite a run on owls,” he explains. “I’ve done five within the last six weeks. People ask for them but I don’t really know why owls are so popular.”
Ross, now 57, is a Holme Valley comer-in and originally hails from the Midlands.
He first arrived in Yorkshire to study for an arts degree at Bretton Hall College and returned to Holmfirth a few years ago after pursuing a career in special needs education.
Now a full-time artist with a base in Booth House Gallery, Holmbridge, his work is widely exhibited. At the moment he also has paintings in the Calder Gallery, Hebden Bridge; Blossom Street Gallery, York; and the Smart Gallery, Bradford.
Ross works mainly in jewel-bright inks and finds inspiration in home-grown Pennine scenery as well as that of Europe and Africa.
Inks, he says, have a ‘magic’ that surpasses the acrylic paints he used to favour.
He is a prolific artist, producing upwards of 100 works each year and says he has a strict work ethic, painting from dawn until dusk in the winter months.
His style is not easily defined but his bold use of colour is extremely decorative and the works overall have links with impressionism, expressionism and realism.
More works can be viewed at rossmooreart.co.uk