My early development as an artist[Scroll down to view gallery]
The school I attended in the 50s provided a very balanced all round education where every skill, subject, was of equal value and explicitly aimed to maximise the development of rounded human beings. So, art, literature, music, sport, sciences, humanities etc were taught in this way. I also had two very good art teachers, who provided the grounding in the technical skills of drawing and painting, but also saw and heard my love and passion for painting. They helped me push my boundaries by getting me and the other art students to paint the stage set scenery for 3 years of operas and plays.
The powerful seeds planted by the school were that no person should be defined only by his career. To be and become who you truly are you need to embrace continually through your life a shed load of disciplines and interests. My on-going disciplines and interests, like wild-place skills, writing, canoeing, have powerfully enhanced my development as an artist. One of the mantras my art teacher taught me was to always carry a sketch book with me; and the linked mantra that you may have to stop painting because of a demanding career, and family commitments; but never stop sketching!
I think I have answered my opening question, that these particular and powerful early planted seeds have gone on helping my development as an artist in the 60s and onwards!
The 70s: At this time I was very influenced by the work of Graham Sutherland, along with the Expressionists. The ‘Ways’ I first saw in his work, symbolised and became a metaphor for my own on-going development as an artist and human being. I slowly learned over the following decades, and strongly reinforced in the 00s, to change colours and use texture and composition to express powerful energies and feelings.
The 80s: I sketched and painted varied subjects in this decade because of family holidays to varied locations. But my on-going development as ever was symbolised by my emotional connection to all these locations and my need to express what I was experiencing.
The 90s: My development was still underpinned by my need to have ‘adventure journeys’ which fed and nurtured me. Painting and sketching helped me in my on-going ‘quest’:- The quest to live and feel and be ‘at depth’; but this also enabled me to live a non-painting life at ‘relational depth’, always taking risk to change and grow and go on developing as an artist and human being.
The gallery below shows paintings from the different decades of my development as an artist. Click on filter tabs to view works by the decade.