Artist of the Month - Liam Spencer

Coal Pit Lane by Liam Spencer

Coal Pit Lane by Liam Spencer - Credit: Archant

Liam Spencer’s Lancashire roots provide inspiration for his landscapes, writes Barbara Waite

The icy grip of winter seen through the eyes of artist Liam Spencer sends a shiver down the spine. It’s a subject he knows intimately as Coal Pit Lane leads to where he lives in Waterfoot in the Rossendale Valley.

‘It’s pretty unremarkable a lot of the time, but it looks great under snow,’ said Liam. ‘We usually have to leave the car at home and walk down the lane when the snow gets too deep.’

Based on a photograph – Liam always carries a camera to capture subjects on the hoof – and painted in oils on board, it is a liberal interpretation emphasising the paint surface and brush marks more than a lot of detail.

Liam was born in Burnley in 1964, and studied Fine Art at Manchester Polytechnic, graduating in 1986 and has become noted for turning rather drab city scenes into beautiful portraits of light, colour and movement.

He first came to prominence with a solo exhibition at the newly opened Lowry arts centre in 2000. This was four years after his first significant exhibition at Towneley Hall in Burnley which subsequently toured to the Howarth Art Gallery in Accrington and Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery.

Since then he has exhibited widely, most notably a retrospective at Manchester Art Gallery in 2006 and his paintings are avidly collected. In 2005 he was the subject of a 30-minute documentary on the BBC.

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Whatever the subject Liam continues to draw inspiration from his north west roots and his paintings can be found in several public collections, including Towneley Hall and Manchester City Art Galleries.

You can see more of his work on and new paintings are available to buy from Clark Art Ltd in Hale with prices from £1,500 to £9,500. Signed limited edition prints are available from £150 and original drawings start from £500.