David Caldwell was born in Helensburgh in 1977. After leaving school he studied painting at the Glasgow School of Art (1994-98) and further completed his education by attending in 2003 - 2005 The Princes’ Drawing School: The Drawing Year where he obtained an MA level diploma.
David’s work relies on the intensity of painting in the presence of the subject, often outdoors, having been awarded residencies in France, Spain and Italy
As an artist, David Caldwell has built a reputation nationally and internationally through his work within the genres of landscape and figuration. From the starting point of traditional painting, he has gone on to develop his own approaches; taking inspiration from his immediate surroundings, and working ‘from life’ to create work which preserves the energy of the process. He cites the work of Corot, Constable and Cezanne as influences on his painting.
His exhibitions include his 2007 Alliance Francaise event in Glasgow, where he showed works made during his residencies in Languedoc-Roussillon, France, made in association with the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Foundation, between 2002 and 2007. Works from France was the culmination of a focussed period of research undertaken by Caldwell, and showcased a selection of paintings and drawings inspired by the landscape, or "la terre", around Collioure and Vieussan. The works shown were selected by the artist to reflect his experiences and reactions to the environment of this particular area of France.
He also exhibited in The Salon at the Liverpool Biennial Independents 2008, his previous group exhibitions include Hinterland, Thomas Williams Fine Art, London; Notes From The New City, C4RD Gallery, London; BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London, whilst also exhibiting regularly at the RGI and RSA annual exhibitions in Scotland.
David has been the recipient of several major awards, including: 2005 Drawing Year Prize, The Prince's Drawing School, London, The 2003 BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London & The Ruth Davidson Memorial Award: Residency in the South of France. David spent 2004 as the artist in residence in Lewisham College, London.
In 2009, David was the recipient of the The Bulldog Bursary, an educational project worth £5,000. The award given by The Royal Society of Portrait Painters, provides the opportunity for a talented up and coming artist to be mentored by Members of the Society with the opportunity to exhibit work at the annual exhibition.
On receiving the award, David stated: "“The Bulldog Bursary will grant me precious time and space to focus solely on portraiture for a year. I intend to make bigger, more complex and ambitious portraits; attempting compositions that deal with the whole figure, or multiple figures, incorporating the surroundings. My aim is to make rigorous works ‘from life’, scrutinising the subject first-hand in an attempt to understand it and ultimately get to its essence. I am concerned with reconciling in one picture the complexities of how one sees. I want my work to suggest what it feels like to look and to be present - the space between the artist and sitter, and the individual energetic presence of the sitter.”
David continues to paint from his West Coast studio. David Caldwell is represented by Cyril Gerber Fine Art and Compass Gallery Glasgow where a selection of his recent works is currently on show. The exhibition contains over 40 of David's latest paintings and can be viewed at 148 West Regent Street in Glasgow.
Portrait: Title: Self-portrait © The Artist