Gordon J Cheape


I have always thought that when one stands in front of a painting and takes time to look at it, at that moment the viewer contributes to the work. My goal is simple: for a dialogue to take place between painting and viewer.

I work exclusively with oil and cover most genres - portraits, figurative, landscapes, seascapes, surreal and abstract. Vivid and vibrant colours, and a strong narrative are all important. I love to paint portraits because there is nothing more diverse or fascinating than faces. The portraits are fictitious - although each portrait has something of someone, it may be a face I have seen in the crowd and something about this face I found attractive or unique. The background in each portrait is important, it can be intricate as in a pattern, or it may be a land/seascape. This background is part of the narrative.

I love to tell stories with a brush.

Let me just explain 3 paintings in more detail:



Women and Children First: I painted this during the war in Bosnia, but it could be any war in any country. When a ship goes down, the cry is “women and children first” (to be saved) but in a war, it is women and children who suffer most. The reason for war is either a power struggle or religion, and often both. Hence the chessfigures of king and bishop, which the woman on the right is offering to you, the viewer. “Which colour would you like this time?” as it will, no doubt, start again....
The womens’ eyes follow you, wherever you are in the room.




The Kings’ Children: I painted this sea/landscape and in the end, put a little figure in it. When my wife saw this, it reminded her of a song, which all children in Germany used to learn, about two kings’ children, who loved one another but could not get together because the water was too deep... (with a tragic end). So I put a second figure in the painting, and we called it the Kings’Children.




Calvary (or Golgota in other languages), where Jesus was crucified. What you see here is the top of the cross, you, the viewer, are standing on a hill right behind the cross and have the same view that Jesus had just before he died. It says in the Bible that a storm approached. The dark blue sky is so intense and draws you in because there are 40 layers of oilpaint.


Except for Christa >>  and Elisabeth >> , all the portraits have something of someone - and a lot of imagination.



You can find my CV here.