Robert Welch makes some of the most sublime paintings, he brings serenity through his subtle understanding of colour and the bold simplification of drawing and shape. There is a sense of anticipation in these paintings, they have been cleared of clutter to herald the viewer to the world of the painting, a pure world of colour.
Welch paints either directly from the subject matter or increasingly goes to the studio with ideas started elsewhere, the distinction between these two activities is important in understanding Robert Welch as a painter. Firstly the speed employed in his outdoor paintings is essential to maintain the rhythmn of his responses, like a jazz improvisor making instant decisions to the shifting structure of music, they are ‘live’ paintings and often have the awkwardness of something seen for the first time.
The studio are much cooler and radiate deliberation borne out of detatchment. In these paintings Welch manipulates the plasticity with the verve and daring of an abstract painter, free from the bond of local colour and descriptive exactitutde; the only commitment the painting has is to be true to itself.
Tim Hilton, The Guardian
‘I recommend the sturdy naturalistic paintings by Robert Welch. He is one of the most serious of our figurative artists, yet his vision owes a lot to his abstractionist contemporaries.’
Mike Butler, Manchester Evening News
‘Robert Welch combines Matisse’s opulence with a very English ‘kitchen sink’ candour.’
Robert Welch by Mali Morris