Donald Holden is a local artist, having lived in Nelson all his life and worked throughout his teaching career in local secondary schools as an art teacher.
Now well established, in retirement he continues to experiment with both ideas and materials, working towards an even more personal response to landscape. Most of the subject matter is to be found in the local area as Donald continues to find new angles to approach familiar places; to be surprised, to see and record places in an individual way, thus forming a source from which paintings can be developed.
His practice is to record subject information in sketch books, keeping these for future reference, hardly ever making an instant response, preferring to return to a subject after thought. Experiments with material forms an important aspect of his work, attempting to create more vibrant surfaces, surfaces which reflect the nature of the landscape.
Practice is influenced by many artists, most of them British. This was initially by accident, but in recent years is a result of positive decisions, following the landscape tradition set by artists such Graham Sutherland, Paul Nash and John Piper, and exploring current trends through the likes of David Prentice, David Tress, Barbara Rae and many others (no doubt there are still more to be discovered). Such studies are not seen as a source to be copied but as a licence to pursue personal themes and methods.
The whole process is ongoing, part of a continuum which is never ending; there is no final result, only a stage along the way.