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William James Swann

I live in Ardvasar in the south of the Isle of Skye, looking out over the Sound of Sleat to Knoydart on the mainland. The area is known for its stunning light and atmosphere and I have always loved painting here. I utterly reject the modern notion that art cannot have as its aim the depiction of beauty. Fortunately, others agree with me as my archives of sold work demonstrate.



My father’s family came to the UK from Ireland in the late 19th Century, seeking work. The beauty of the West of Ireland is legendary and I am increasingly drawn to painting there. Achill Island in County Mayo has always attracted artists and nearby Connemara is similarly inspirational.



For my plein air studies, I work directly in front of the subject, in all weathers, times of day and year. I exhibit some of these works and also use them to inform larger paintings. There is a spiritual dimension to the places I paint and trying to capture that sense and feeling in my work is a challenge.



My work is freely painted, much of it with a painting knife. I like working the paint with a knife to produce subtle blended effects as well as texture and broken paint effects.


Biography courtesy of the artist’s website.