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William's Corner

This is my corner, where you'll find my latest news, inspirations and musings. I send out a newsletter every few months before posting it here.

I'm trying to bring a bit more structure to the way I release new work. Despite producing a lot of work over the last several months, I realised that I hadn't actually officially released much of my work online! And so here goes...

My latest series is called "Hope: Answers for Loss".

Abstract painting about anguish
Anguish, by William Watson-West, Acrylic on canvas, 75 x 60 cm

The idea of hope is something that is more important than ever in the increasingly unpredictable world that we live in. As I push my practice further and down a more conceptual path, I’ve been attempting to offer some kind of answer to feelings of loss and grief through painting. Channelling my emotional energy into my work, the aim for this series was to process my personal struggles with grief and loss but also produce something that resonates with others, whether it’s through the deeper meaning behind my paintings, or simply the underlying aesthetics of them.

This body of work has come together over the course of several months. I am always working on multiple pieces at any given time. Some pieces I will wait months before going back to and finishing; other pieces come together more quickly, even in a single sitting. Both approaches involve the transfer of raw energy as I tap into the motivation behind my work.

Green abstract painting about mind jungle
Mind Jungle, by William Watson-West, Acrylic on linen board, 30 x 24 cm

As much as my paintings often convey a joyful sense of colour, the underlying inspiration behind a lot of these pieces comes from a darker place as I tried to come to terms with grief and find meaning. I often struggle to put into words how I am feeling, something that I think a lot of people can relate to especially when dealing with grief and loss.

Painting can be a cathartic process for releasing one’s inner struggles but also using that often painful energy can create something beautiful for others to admire and in turn find their own meaning.

Abstract painting about mental health
Colour on a Dull Day, by William Watson-West, Acrylic on linen board, 24 x 30 cm

Now, more than ever, mental health is at the forefront of people’s minds and I hope that through my paintings, people might be able to relate in some way. I hope my paintings appeal on different levels; from an aesthetic point of view I hope that they bring people joy, but on a deeper level, perhaps as people stare into my paintings they might offer an answer to their worries or troubles.

When I paint, I am baring my soul and my vulnerabilities. It may not be obvious due to the largely abstract nature of my work, but I encourage my viewers to stare into my paintings and let their own emotions flow, and almost open up and confide in each piece.

Abstract painting about loss
Pieces of Mind, by William Watson-West, Acrylic on linen board, 50 x 40 cm

My third newsletter features a special trip to New York where I visited some amazing museums, a local fishmonger that serves delicious sashimi, how I am painting in a flow state with my current project and an introduction to my upcoming collection launch.

All Things Arty

New York City

A couple of months ago my fiancée took me to New York City to celebrate my birthday. I’ve visited a couple of times before and wasn’t let down this time by the intoxicating air of possibility and opportunity that it emits along with its truly awesome architecture - the vast streets and towering skyscrapers.


We were staying pretty much right next to the Whitney Museum of American Art and our trip coincided with the opening few days of its famous biennial exhibition. A lot of the work in the biennial had a noticeably political undertone, sometimes verging on clichéd, but it was nonetheless excellently and meticulously curated resulting in an impressive show. A highlight for me was Suzanne Jackson who used acrylic paint, gels and found objects from the natural world in layer upon layer without canvas to create artworks suspended in the air allowing a translucence and new dimension to a typically 2-dimensional medium.


An expert level of curation was also visible at both the Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art as well (I could have spent days there!) and whilst we barely scratched the surface of what NYC has to offer, it felt like all of these galleries were a metaphor for the city we saw as a whole - surprisingly well looked after and designed with a sophisticated aesthetic.

Another highlight was The Highline, a former elevated railway line that has been transformed into a public park and mile and half long walkway. Walking along at 9am on a quiet Sunday morning, the planting and sculptural paths with hints of its industrial past were truly inspiring. The juxtaposition of this green garden oasis amongst the towering city architecture and the vistas that emerged as you walked along was spectacular. I spend a lot of time marvelling at the beauty of the natural world, but visiting New York it’s hard not to be mesmerised by the ability of humans to create such an incredible metropolis.

Foodie Musings

If you're new to my newsletter, this is the section where I write about some of my other passions, namely food and drink! My third foodie musing features a local fishmonger.

Oeno Maris, Newington Green, London

One of the major draws of London has to be its access to so much exceptional produce from around the world. Oeno Maris is a master fishmonger that specialises in the finest sustainably sourced fish and seafood available, which luckily for me is just ten minutes’ walk from our flat. Each morning it takes Dan Murphy, the owner, hours just to set up and make sure all he has to offer is looking its best; it’s worth getting there early just to see his counter in all its splendour.

Oeno Maris is not just a fishmonger though. You can now go and have incredible sashimi, sake and natural wine on-site, either outside on a sunny day or inside in the dimly lit but very cool shop itself. The sashimi varies each week but there’s always a variety of tuna available to try. I tried a type of fatty tuna that melted like butter as you ate it - a complete revelation. Each dish comes simply yet beautifully plated and served with fresh wasabi grated at the table along with rare aged soy sauces and rice wine vinegars for dipping. I’m told that it’s the only place outside of high-end restaurants that you can find this sort of quality in London and although it’s not cheap, you’d be paying a lot more for it elsewhere. If you’re into your sashimi it’s a must and even if you’re not, it’s worth trying to experience something special.

Inspiration Update

Whilst the subject of my paintings continues to get more conceptual, the colours, shapes and feelings are more often than not informed by memories, experiences of daily life and the places I visit. When I am in the right zone this accumulation of information releases into my work in bursts of energy. 

I’m currently trying to push the idea of creating work in an almost flow state; a state of mind somewhere between deep focus and the subconscious where I’ve discovered that I create some of my most successful paintings. I’m intrigued by the idea that work produced in this zone might prompt certain emotions and deep thought in the viewer as well and I’m excited about how painting can be beautiful but also have so much more to it.

As with my latest project that I’ll be launching very soon, I’m keen for people to stare into my paintings and explore their own feelings. The process of creating these paintings can be very cathartic and I hope that simply in viewing my work it might also trigger a similar response.

Recent Work

I’ve finally catalogued the last several months of paintings I’ve been working on which I’m pleased to say I'll be launching in the next couple of weeks.

Hope: Answers for Loss”, brings together approximately 30 paintings that I’ve created as both a means of processing some of my own challenges and also in the hope that it resonates with other people. You might have already seen some of the pieces in the series but there’s another sneak peek below before I launch the whole collection online.

In other news, sadly I didn’t make it into the final selection for the Royal Academy Summer exhibition, although having read some of the reviews perhaps I ought to be glad(!) and I am holding onto the shortlisting as being a big achievement in its own right.

If you'd like to be the first to read my newsletters, make sure you sign up below. You'll also be the first to see my latest prints, previews of new work and invitations to exhibition openings.

In my second newsletter I talk about a recent visit to The Courtauld to see a fascinating Frank Auerbach exhibition, an inspiring trip to Dorset and getting shortlisted for the RA Summer Exhibition.

All Things Arty

Frank Auerbach - Charcoal Portraits


A few weeks ago I visited a striking Frank Auerbach exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery, London. I have a confession to make: I had never visited The Courtauld before. It’s a fabulous space in Somerset House comprising collections of art from the 11th century right up to present day. Highlights for me included an Ivon Hitchens (one of my all-time favourite artists) and an atypical yet charming Georges Seurat


I was mainly there to see the Frank Auerbach Charcoal Portraits exhibition. Focusing on Auerbach's earlier work the exhibition was fascinating, moving and unsettling.


Auerbach’s unconventional approach to charcoal meant that he would spend months on a single piece with multiple sittings, applying and removing charcoal, sometimes so heavily that the paper had to be patched up. The result is something that hauntingly captures the essence of the subject allowing the viewer to almost stare into their soul. I’m not sure if I’d have one on my wall, but they left a lasting impression on me, resonating strongly with my belief that art can transcend beauty.

Frank Auerbach charcoal portrait
Frank Auerbach, Head of Gerda Boehm, 1961, Charcoal and chalk on paper


Foodie Musings


If you missed my last newsletter, this is a new section dedicated to some of my other passions. My favourite pubs, restaurants and places often conjure up similar feelings that I try to evoke through my paintings.


So here's my second foodie musing...

Noble Rot, Lamb’s Conduit Street, London

Noble Rot on Lamb’s Conduit Street ticks lots of boxes. Its name coined from another word for botrytis, a grape fungus necessary for producing Sauternes (amongst others), this is the place to go if you’re into your wine.

Noble Rot wines
Inside Noble Rot, Lamb's Conduit Street

The front room is a wine bar and the back a candlelit restaurant. You could take your parents there or your lover. The fantastic value set lunch menu changes regularly but it’s always tempting to go for the à la carte as a treat. A previous “Wine List of the Year” winner, there is a mixture of traditional, unusual and hidden gems on offer; if you’re a foodie like me there is always something exciting to pair with every dish. It was here that I had my first experience of orange wine (made from white grapes in a red wine style) which was paired with slip sole in smoked butter - simple yet mind-blowing!


Inspiration Update

Last month I visited one of my favourite parts of the UK, the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. For 27 years of my life I visited Studland Bay with my family on our summer holidays and over the years cemented special friendships and a deep-rooted connection with the area. 


Along with a couple of pals, this time my girlfriend and I stayed in a charming little cottage in Corfe Castle, famous for its spectacular ruined Norman castle. 

It just so happens that one of my all-time favourite pubs was nearby: the Square and Compass in Worth Matravers.

After a circular walk down to the wave-battered coast, you can then soak up the view amongst giant Jurassic fossils-turned-seating outside. The low-ceilinged pub, dimly lit and laden with paraphernalia, serves from a hatch homemade pasties and sausage rolls that you can wash down with a local ale or cider. There’s even a tiny one-room museum filled with local artefacts attached. What more could you ask for?


From the weather and the scenery to the memories that came flooding back to me, it was an inspiring trip. The sketches will feed into my paintings but translating those feelings and memories of being in a place I hold dear into artwork is what inspires me most.

Recent Work

After over 10 years of applying, I was thrilled to have one of my paintings shortlisted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. It's currently at the framers so that I can take it to be judged in the final round in May. Even if I don't get selected for the exhibition, being shortlisted is a goal I've had for a long time so I'm really excited.

If you'd like to be the first to read my newsletters, make sure you sign up below. You'll also be the first to see my latest prints, previews of new work and invitations to exhibition openings.

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