Chris Hibbard, Painter and Print Maker

I ceased painting in 1975 for a variety of reasons, not least because of too much cerebral activity regarding the work I was doing. Art school had developed my technical ability, but had made me incessantly question the activity I was engaged in. Too often, working on a painting led to the question “Why?” — so it seemed easier to stop.

I taught for nearly thirty years, during that time I continued to draw, often attending a life class. Drawing appealed to me because of its immediacy, which overrode the consideration of “Why?”. Bonnard stated that drawing was sensation, painting reasoning. I also continued to etch, etching being my printing choice at art school and I had always enjoyed the process. Etching, on occasion, enabled me to develop or extend a drawing.

When I finished teaching I started to paint again, working in the main from my drawing, but gradually I found myself returning to where I had stopped in 1975.

My work concerns itself with picture making. I make use of pre-existing sources, often referencing art history, history and literature. These references are conscious, but often in the process of working, subconscious.

From an early age I drew (as a child it was my way of coming to terms with the world around me) becoming fascinated and often excited by images in comics and films. I usually returned home from the cinema and would commence drawing (some of my earliest memories are of visits to the cinema). This fascination has stayed with me throughout my life. As I grew older, images and ideas encountered in literature, art and history engaged me.

Often I find images are encountered accidentally and will be the starting point of a picture, or an image will be so strong that it has to be the starting point now or later. At other times images will be “found” while a work is in progress — is this accident, coincidence, or meant to be? Somehow certain images, references and ideas find their way into my work. How these are used and combined with media techniques is the stuff of my picture making.

Chris Hibbard in gallery, standing in front of a wall of paintings
Chris Hibbard