Derbyshire-based painter Darren Reid creates stunning, photorealistic landscapes of serene seascapes, expansive landscapes, and bustling cityscapes. Each work, when looked at closely enough, reveals a layer of acrylic detail that heightens the painting to a hyperrealistic level. A road is not just a road, but a pointillist blend of colors (think Seurat or Pissarro) that fuse together when looked at to play tricks on the viewer's eye. Reid has mastered a strange and awesome technique: how to take impressionist skills and turn them into reality. His paintings, often of stark country houses or gritty industrial pavements, reinvent what it means to look at the world. He shows us there is more than meets the eye at first glance.
Despite his keen eye and skilled hand, Reid picked up his paintbrush later in life, as a means of distraction. In 2011, his dog became ill, which left Reid housebound much of the time. In between giving his dog insulin injections every eight hours for the next two years, Reid would play around with his acrylic set without tutorials or any instruction, and soon was painting seriously, four days a week—he had a day job the other three days. “My life has been transformed,” Reid told us in an email. “I'm now painting on a semi-professional basis, all of my paintings have sold to private collections, and I'm now being represented by one of the world's leading hyperrealist galleries, Plus One London.” His painting titled Low Winter Sun (featured below) was one of 23 paintings out of 2,000 submissions to be shortlisted for the John Ruskin Prize in 2014.
The humble painter still can't believe this life of his three-and-a-half years after he first picked up a brush. Reid says in an interview with Derbyshire Life, “I’m shocked but also proud. What’s happened is already more than I ever dared dream about so even if I don’t sell another canvas, painting has become my passion and I’ll be happy with that.”
‘Still' – acrylic on panel, 44x40cm
‘Ghosts,' 2016 – acrylic on panel – 600x400mm