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I have always made drawings or paintings of people around me, and this selection is a small fraction of them. As with any other painting or drawing from life, one finds a ‘likeness’, an ‘aura’ or ‘feeling’ unique to the the place, the occasion and the person. It was Julia Wolstenholme, a tutor at Hornsey Art College in 1960, who alerted me to this all-important ‘feeling’ element.
Moments spent drawing or painting people have a quality unlike any other human interaction.
Archive of Paintings
After leaving college in 1964, like many would-be painters, I became a full-time teacher, but continued painting and exhibiting work. I found my impulse was to reject any self-conscious approach, be it modernist or traditional, and to make an obvious and recognisable response to what I saw. Finding oneself able to paint at all is rewarding, particularly if people respond by buying one’s pictures! But, apart from the value of “keeping one’s hand in”, one has also to question what one is doing as a painter, and why. Meanwhile painting itself asserts its own imperatives, sometimes mysterious or seemingly arbitrary, and becomes altogether more absorbing, intense and difficult.
This gallery includes early and later works, and shows varying degrees of these stages. Some were the product of a single session, others much more than brief studies. Some are more and some less serious or important than others, and of varying success.
Drawings, Studies, Sketches
Few of my drawings are finished pieces in their own right, most are notes or mementos. Since my painting process amounts to explorational drawing in paint, I seldom make preliminary studies for them. But I continue to sketch, often at times of change, or when approaching new subject-matter. The activity is literally one of marking time.