Award winning author and visual artist Mark Haddon is best known for his novel ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’, but has continued to paint, developing an exciting practice as part of his creative output. Recent works include abstract pieces that explore form and shape using mixed media and bold pattern and colour, with geometric forms colliding and contrasting.
He spent twenty years as a children’s writer and illustrator, publishing numerous picture books for children. ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' was a stepping stone between children’s books and literary fiction,’ he explains. ‘Moving from illustration to painting was harder.’
‘The freedom of abstraction and semi-abstraction helps, as does forcing myself to use non-traditional equipment: acrylic on mountboard, scalpels and syringes, rags corks, glue… If nothing else, I know that the pictures won’t look like pictures made by anyone else, including the person I used to be ten years ago.’
‘I had spent twenty years drawing illustrations in two very distinct styles; energetic pictures in coloured inks for magazines and children’s books, and more sober black and white pen-portraits for newspapers. That kind of work lays down some very persistent muscle memories and the way I paint is guided, in part, by an attempt to sidestep those memories and make pictures in a completely different way.’
'I paint for the same reason I write, in the hope that I might just be able to give someone the same experience I get from work which has moved and inspired me.'