Marcin Jach is based in Cambridge and moved to the UK from Poland in 2005. In 2016, he had his first exhibition in Cambridge at Newnham College, and has continued to exhibit regularly ever since.
Marcin Jach…in pursuit of self-taught perfection
I am a Cambridge based painter, using essentially acrylics but sometimes mixed media if the subject or size dictates. Faced with life’s challenges, I have come to understand the importance of art for my wellbeing. I cannot live without that feeling of commitment towards this creative process. In my exchanges with other fellow artists, I often refer to art as ‘air to breathe’ or as a ‘means to achieve our true potential’. Whether it be painting or music (electric and bass guitar), my artistic endeavours allow me to function and enjoy a sense of happiness.
I believe if you spend so many hundreds of hours doing something, you become an expert by default. I believe in commitment and passion to art. When I bought my first set of good oil paints in Shepton Mallet in 2005, I had little knowledge of how to use them, although I had been painting in oils for 3 years! I set to and after many hundreds of hours of solitary commitment, I became proficient at creating depth with light and shadows. I needed to mess up my canvas countless times to create something I wanted. It’s a continuous learning process, where I touch that child-like feeling of discovering the unknown as I form new shapes, colours and detail.
Over the years I have developed a keen appreciation of composition, learning how to indicate the presence of objects, but my passion lies in the more expressive and spontaneous approach to painting. It feels far more rewarding. My main artistic concerns are the sea and mountains. I also have a fascination with skies, capturing cloud formations frequently on camera on my travels. I love the sunrise and sunset, which I express with vibrant hues of orange. I have been particularly inspired by landscapes on the Canary Islands - each island offering something unique - but also around the British coastline which I adore.
I aim to achieve atmospheric light effects from sharp and dramatic contrast - warm against cold colours. I create sometimes what I would describe as a literal collision between the sea and the mountains – rocky volcanic formations crushed by waves. Then I might create a gentle fusion, where the calm waves gently touch the sandy beach. This meeting of the forces of nature expressed through vibrancy of contrast and colour, is what makes my paintings recognisable – my trademark, I think.
Closer to home in the city of Cambridge, I get endless inspiration as I walk along the Cam at the back of the colleges, boats and punts meandering or stroll through the city streets and parks, buzzing with life and activity. I love to capture these scenes on canvas. I treat acrylics like watercolours and by adding flow improver, I achieve smooth washes and blends of colours. I also enjoy using a palette knife. I find the increased texture more expressive and it leads to abstract twists in my work.
I have a developed sense of audience. I intend the viewer to receive with the senses, the bright and vivid contrasts in colour in my paintings, and in doing so, experience an aura of positivity. I wish to make familiar connections with my audience and share my enthusiasm for the creative process. I am also keen to tap into people’s everyday creative potential, of which they may be totally unconscious.
My Journey and Influences
At school, I didn’t seem too interested in art despite having some talent for it. It was not until I was 19, that I joined a student arts society in my hometown, mainly spurred on by the prospect of meeting girls! In 2001 I hosted my first art exhibition there ‘The Art of Marcin Jach’, while I was discovering the dystopian surrealism of Zdzislaw Beksinski. I found his art depressive, ambient and yet so colourful inspired by artists like Turner. He was for sure the artist who made me want to be an artist. He triggered completely new feelings, and literally transformed every artistic idea that had gone before. I was so inspired by the fact he had had no formal art education, and that cemented the idea that any of us can be artists. He didn’t develop his artistic language in schools, but rather was driven by his love and dedication for creative process. This narrative allowed me to learn more about myself, my limits etc. I was his ‘copycat’ of course, and although he will always be my master, I went on to be inspired by artists such as Monet, Whistler, Ruskin and the Pre – Raphaelites and eventually started to develop my own compositions, styles and subject matter as I turned to landscape painting, although I kept attention to detail and colour contrast in buildings.