Martin Sloman

Belper, Derbyshire

My name is Martin Sloman and I'm now a full time watercolour artist/tutor. I loved art at school and was always top or close to the top of the class. I left school at 15 and went to work for an optician, as a trainee optical technician and was taught how to dispense spectacles. After about 16 years I joined a manufacturing optician as manager this lasted until January 2013.During my years there I travelled all over the UK including Northern Ireland to build up a customer base. In later years I helped to set up and manage two optical practices. I didn't paint again until I had a dabble with oils in the mid-70s, there were some passable results until my brother and I took up golf, that took up most of my spare time until my wife Barbara's road accident in June 2000. When she first came out of hospital I had to be at home to look after her. She suggested I take up art again to pass the time. I bought some watercolours and was hooked from the beginning.

I started doing very tight landscapes; gradually I've moved to slightly looser style using bold and vibrant colours with a little more spontaneity about it. I don't particularly work to any theme I just see things that excite me and make me want to paint them. I like to visit or see what I'm painting; I take lots of photographs and try to get a feel for the subject. Not just to glance at a subject or scene but to really look in depth at the hidden colours in the shadows, the patterns and in the shapes and of course contrasts between light and dark etc.

There are so many influences lots of things, sometimes you just see something and you get a feeling inside, you know you want to try to capture that moment with brush and paint. Seascapes and coastal scenes using vibrant colours that make you want to be there, Wingfield Manor for instance but I've not managed to paint it yet. As for artists, the scenes of Venice by Turner are something else. I wish I could be a fraction of the artist Turner was. I love Turners work, the light, mood and atmosphere he captured was mind blowing, what a genius.

I was commissioned to paint a picture of a little girl's pony that she had outgrown, the parents said she was very upset the pony had got to go and wanted the painting as a keepsake. I took dozens of photos of this beautiful pony, and I suppose because it meant so much, I was inspired to make picture as memorable as I could. I did a pet portrait of a dog just before one Christmas; I wasn't at home when the lady collected. Barbara my wife told me the lady burst into tears as soon as she saw it (which could have been a worry!) but she said it so captured her much loved pet. I like that other people seem to like it. I get a great buzz that my paintings are on walls in places like America, Japan, Germany as well as the UK.

I love the freedom art gives you to express yourself, because there are no real rules, you have the liberty to paint what you like, how you like, depending on the mood I'm in and more especially the subject matter. I like my own company at times, working alone but there are plenty of opportunities to meet up with other artists at shows and galleries. Teaching, especially beginners gives you such a thrill when someone says 'I never thought I could paint a picture like that', so enjoyable and rewarding. , My goals are to take on more teaching, and have my own spacious studio with enough room to teach up to 10 people. To work hard and strive to improve, and finally to produce work that people get pleasure from viewing and hopefully purchasing.




Landscape or Woodland Scene, Portrait or Figure, Still Life, Townscape or Streetscene