paintings and prints
artist's books





Abscissa woodcut and digital
Abscissa / Abscisa: woodcut and digital print with layered paper 2017. VIII Premio Atlante de Grabado (Atlante Prize 2017)

ARVON WELLEN is a contemporary painter, printmaker and maker of artist's books.

Arvon involvement with contemporary culture is constantly informed by a variety of sources including photography, domestic and industrial artefacts. He is interested in the history of our domestic lives as well as the mythology that is a part of that history or is sometimes apart from it. He is specifically interested in the emotional, psychological and sociological aspect of the lives of men and women in a world of strong contrasts between the natural world and the world of mass production, and between reason and chaos.
He has also always been inspired by the lives of ordinary people observed through traces and marks made by a variety of artefacts such as hand written documents and processes such as photography.
His painting as well as his printed work has evolved through the study of artefacts, as well as ideas, that have been discarded and then partly hidden by new layers only to be revealed again by excavation or by chance. The single most important part of this archeology of ideas is he believes, the relationships of men and women and the role of women at work.
His interests are eclectic and include texts, manuscripts, medieval and renaissance art as well as contemporary cinema, dance and visual art. While his work is mainly abstract he is interested in the suggestion of a human presence. He frequently uses collage or other references to human activity through the use of photographs or diagrams.
In addition to this he has worked as a photographer and film maker and he has been involved with the production of limited edition books for most of his life.
ABOVE LEFT: Clay: pochoir and digital print; illustration to "Brigid sat by the fire" text and prints by Arvon Wellen, Aragó Press 2015. The 26 prints were made by a combination of lithography, pochoir, woodcut and digital printing.
pochoir and digital print
digital print with collage
Corliss Valve Gear: digital print on cut out and layered paper;
32 x 56 cm; 2017
lithography and digital print woodcut London Labour
London Bridge: woodcut and digital print;
32 x 56 cm; 2016
The text for this series of prints was taken from the 1862 edition of the London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew.
Certificate of Birth. lithograph and digital print 33 x 56 cm 2016
intersect artist's book
This book explores the possibilities suggested by the word intersect. Some of the pages reflect themes such as sky and land, two people, water and land and these are portrayed through geometric and technical diagrams as well as layered cut out shapes.
Intersect / intersecar: artist's book in wooden box; 2017
Queen painting
She dreamed of paradise: mixed media on wood:
65 x 54 cm; 2016
Record art cadaques
Record' Art Cadaqués: Cadaqués 2014
alchemist ! / lithography and digital print
Record' Art Cadaqués was a celebration and record of the galleries and artists of Cadaqués during 40 years. Artists included Eduard Arranz Bravo; Sean Scully; Tom Carr; Miquel Barceló; Antonio Saura etc.
Alchemist I:
lithography & inkjet; 56cm x 38cm; 2011
This print was made by combining two techniques - lithography and inkjet.
Record' Art Cadaqués 2014
Bede and the Shipbuilder's Wife: limited edition artist's book; digital and lithography; 21 x 15 cm, Aragó Press, 2011
This little book has been exhibited in a number of galleries including:
2012 Bristol University
2012 Pyramid Book Arts Fair, USA
2012 Creative Cohesion, UK
2012 Sunderland Museum
2012 McGuiness Gallery, Bishop Aukland
2015 St. Bride Printing Library, London
2016 Gordon Russell Museum
The text and the prints were both by the artist and they represent a brief survey of how women were seen from the saint / goddess Æthelthryth (Etheldreda) to the women working in the shipyards in Sunderland during World War II.
The prints were produced digitally and some are a combination of digital printing and lithography.
artists book
artist's book
As I hung from a Rock: text by A E Jordan, prints by Arvon Wellen; digital and woodcut printing; 2014


reflection perfume / painting
reflection perfume; (detail) acrylic on canvas; 55cm x 70cm; 2011
This is one of a pair of related paintings from about 2005 and reflect the artist's interest in layers of colour.
lips - print
The idea behind the "multi-layered print was an attempt to use aspects of traditional lithographic printmaking combined with digital printing. The print was produced by an Epson inkjet printer using archival inks but instead of printing all the colours in one printing as is normal with digital printing, selected colours were printed separately. This gave more depth and more vibrancy to the colour. The print was layered on Arches Aquarelle paper.
Arvon is particularly interested in how we imagine ourselves, whether it is through magazine photographs or the cinema. Painting is for him a way of examining both the surface features of life but also life that exists beneath the surface. He is prepared to accept his own inability to understand a world of chaos and is inspired by the way that we create notional appearances. As part of this process he is interested in the psychological effects of colour.
Lips; multi-layered digital print 2001;
printed on Arches cold press 56 x 76 cm
updated August 2017