Creatives of Sheffield: Phil Lockwood

4th September, 2018
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I’m Phil Lockwood and I do all sorts of things. Really, I’m trained as a furniture designer but I went to the junior art school at 11 years old so I did everything; Pottery, metalwork, woodwork - whatever. I’m the last of the renaissance men - I tend to do what I feel like.

I’ve been concentrating on painting for the last 10 years but previously I worked with wood and with papier-mâché and small scale sculptures - I do all sorts of things.

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I’m usually inspired by a mood or an impression of a place. More often than not I start a painting with one idea and it ends up being something totally different - and being a Yorkshireman you don’t abandon a painting and throw it away - you modify it.

Other ideas are suggested as I paint so, I don’t know what I’m doing! Just occasionally I might have a concept that I see through. I have a painting called High-wire which is one of the few where I started with an idea and finished up with exactly the same idea. 

There’s one of my works that’s an industrial scene but it was originally going to be a Gorilla, that finished up totally different! I didn’t like what I started with but of course I don’t throw anything away - so I simply modified it. My work is built on layers and layers of sometimes abstract ideas.

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I used to do commissions but I rarely chase them anymore. I’m semi-retired so I really just work for myself and occasionally sell through local shows and galleries. I’ve never really sold through galleries in the past though - always directly. 

The accidental blobs of paint or spillages can suggest something, routes for your work to take and then the painting will change direction. The work, for me, is only ever finished when someone buys it - I’ve even been known to take the varnish off and to repaint a bit that I couldn’t live with!