Jonathan studied Fine art at Falmouth College of Arts where he specialised in painting. Initially he focused on plein air landscape watercolours and gained national recognition after winning the 2nd prize at the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition. His painting has evolved from a focus on thin watercolour glazes, to exploring thick ‘impasto’ paint applied liberally to canvas and paper.
‘I find that when I am in a landscape, I am aware of everything happening around me, the wildlife is constantly moving, the clouds are changing every second and the land is being cultivated and shaped. Nothing is still, everything moves. In my painting I am trying to create a semi-abstracted image where nothing feels still, where you feel that you are in that landscape.
I mix traditional techniques with ‘off the cuff’ unorthodox ones. I like to move large areas of paint about, to sculpt it. The landscapes that I am drawn to are dramatic places. I feel that they require a physical approach to technique. I need to be physical with the paint to understand and to realise fully what it is that I am looking at and experiencing. That said, my paintings have many delicate layers that are carefully built up. Alongside thick passages of paint you will find thin watercolour like washes.
I aim to achieve a balance between thick and thin paint, between the strategically placed and the chance mark. Some marks are made very quickly to get the right pace and attack, the right shape. Some marks are considered for a long time before they are made. It is a push and pull between representation and abstraction, a balance between what I see and what I feel. I like to take risks with my paintings, right until the last moments.’
Jonathan’s paintings are in private collections worldwide.
Falmouth College of Arts, BA(Hons) Fine Art.
Worcester College of Technology, BTEC diploma in art and design.
2nd prize winner: Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, 2011.
Sail Loft Bursary, awarded by Falmouth College of Arts, 2004.
Selected Exhibitions, Galleries and Partners
Cotswold Contemporary, Cirencester, since 2021.
Precision Auction House, High Wycombe, 2021.
May Interiors, Wokingham, 2020.
Singulart.com online gallery. Part of the top 30% most viewed artists in 2021, exhibiting since 2019.
Autumn Exhibition, Silson Contemporary, Harrogate, 2018.
Late Summer and Autumn, The Art Agency, Esher, 2018.
Midlands Open, Tarpey Gallery, Castle Donnington, 2017.
Lumi Arts, online gallery, exhibiting artist since 2017.
Off the Wall gallery, Cardiff, exhibiting artist since 2015.
Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, the Mall galleries, London in 2011 & 2014. 2nd prize winner in 2011.
National Open Art Exhibition, Little Buckland Gallery, 2014.
RWS Contemporary Watercolour Exhibition, Bankside Gallery, 2012 & 2013.
The Stour Gallery, Shipston-on-Stour. Solo showcase & exhibiting artist since 2013.
Fountain Fine Art, Llandelio, exhibiting artist since 2012.
Pure Art, two solo exhibitions and exhibiting artist since 2011.
158th Autumn Exhibition, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, 2010.
artgallery.co.uk, online gallery, premier artist since 2009.
Beside the Avon, solo exhibition, Number 8 Gallery, Pershore, 2008.
Solo Exhibition, Oxford University Press, 2007.
Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2015 & 2016.
'A Glimpse Inside Plein Air Landscape Artist Jonathan Pitts’ World,' by Jessalynne Madden, segmation.com 2017.
'Artist in Focus: Jonathan Pitts,' Lumi Arts, 2017.
‘Painting Is My Way Of Making Sense Of The World’ for Jackson's Art Supplies artist Interviews article by Lisa Takahashi, June 2016.
'Watercolour Today,' Artists & Illustrators Magazine, feature article by Martha Alexander, July 2012.
'An instinctive response,' The Artist Magazine, a masterclass feature article by Oliver Lange, May 2012.
'Private Glimpse of Watercolours,' Surrey Advertiser, newspaper article, 2011.
'The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition,' exhibition catalogue, 2011.
'Artist’s stroke of genius lands him silver prize,' Staines News, 2nd page newspaper article, 2011.
'Quality Assurances,' The Sunday Times Culture Magazine, feature article by Frank Whitford, Times art critic, 2011.
'Twilight artist is over the moon,' Staines Informer, newspaper article, 2011