- The Art Index
- About Us
- Contact Us
I have always loved drawing. When I was a small child, as long as I had a pencil and paper, I was happy. I was lucky that I had some natural ability and a good eye. At school, alongside academic subjects, I took o’level art and was confident of achieving a good grade. I worked really hard on my display for grading and clearly remember the artwork:
So, imagine my utter horror and distress to discover that my display board had disappeared the night prior to grading! My guess is that the work was stolen but I never found out what happened or why; needless to say, the artwork never reappeared. In the absence of a display, I was awarded a C but it felt like a sympathy grade. I was desperately disappointed.
Persuing artistic employment…
I went on to pursue more academic subjects in order to get a proper job. I spent years working for an insurance company but always painted on the side. During lengthy meetings and seminars, I sometimes amused myself by sketching people. I was occasionally caught out and gently reprimanded.
In my spare time, I watched painting demonstrations organised by my local art group and also attended many painting workshops, including those run by the late Freddie Cameron-Street. Freddie was a very accomplished artist and a great character. We became friends and it was Freddie who encouraged me to start running my own painting workshops. I took the plunge and left my salaried employment to become a self-employed artist. I didn’t want to have regrets in later life; after all, it’s better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all.
I started tutoring small groups before offering demonstrations to art societies and then progressed to tutoring on painting holidays. I’m very much a people person and it gives me enormous pleasure to watch student’s progress from tentative beginners to confident pastel artists.
Today, I love what I do. No two days are the same and that’s just the way I like it. There have been many highlights over the years, which include:
Further development as a tutor
I firmly believe that teaching others has made me a much better painter. It has encouraged me to break down processes and question what I do. I’m a very generous tutor and I’m happy to share both the accidents I’ve had, as well as some shortcuts to success. I am still constantly learning and will continue to push myself. Of course, being self-employed presents challenges, particularly in recent times where I’ve had to make sure I have other streams of income besides that received from teaching. So, I also sell prints, greetings cards and have even had my work featured on an award-winning Pilsner lager. All in all, I’m very happy that I made the leap. I would encourage others to pursue their dreams.