British artist Jason Anderson creates colorful abstract paintings composed of pixelated swatches of pastel-toned oil paint. Up-close, the artist’s paintings look like blocky layers of shapes and color; but, from afar, his scenes—featuring cityscapes, roads, trains, and marinas—are revealed.
Anderson began his career as a stained glass apprentice, where he worked on restoring the windows of cathedrals. He soon progressed onto designing the glass murals himself, where he learned how to break down subject matter into “jigsaws” of colored sections. This approach still shines through in his paintings today—complex scenes are brought to life with simple shapes and careful consideration to hue and tone.
Each abstract work features a central “light” that appears to gleam through the canvas to illuminate the hazy, pastel pigments. “My time in stained-glass taught me about light and how it expands,” reveals Anderson. “So, in my paintings there is only a single (pure) white spot which gives the piece a strong focal point and what better excuse to have for this than an imaginary sun—maybe just going down behind the horizon.”
Anderson uses a palette knife to achieve his distinct, textured aesthetic. “I relish the often frantic nature of mixing and arranging the paint in thick impressionistic daubs, and submitting to a process that creates its own detail and form,” he reveals. “This forces me to be bold and decisive; it also produces a kaleidoscope of shape and tone which portrays the ever-present movement and energy found in nature.” As the viewer moves around the textured paintings, the light catches on the thick ridges of the paint, mirroring the energetic movement of the real landscapes.
Scroll down for more of Anderson’s paintings. And if you like his style, read our guide on how to create textured paintings with palette knives at home.