Wednesday, 11 April 2012

My first painting since 1980

I left art college in 1980 having studied Graphic Design. I also stopped painting at the same time- that is until last weekend when, through encouragement from my family, in particular my youngest daughter Jessica, I picked up the paintbrushes once more.

I have always admired artists who use graphic images and shapes within their work. Gustav Klimt is my main inspiration along with the all-round design skills of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. As for natural history illustration, give me Michael Warren anyday over many others.

The painting above took me half a day and is based on Silver Birches and Bracken. I had no idea how a style would evolve and basically just painted away, adding layers until something took shape. As a first effort in 32 years I'm pleased enough to feel that it's worth my while to do some further work. I enjoyed doing it, which was another plus as I had been secretly dreading trying my luck after so long away from the easel.

The medium is gouache.


  1. If this is the quality of work you can produce after such a long time, then I think you should definitely continue painting! Really nice work.

  2. Nice stuff Steve! Glad to see you mention Mackintosh and Klimt. I like these two and went up to Glasgow during my Uni years to look at the former's stuff as part of my dissertation on glass in architecture. Keep it up, would be nice to see more.

  3. Really nice, Steve. Like me you have picked up the old paintbrushes again - looks well worth the decision. Where did you do your Graphics degree, by the way?

  4. Peter: Cheers Pinpoint!

    Joe: thanks for the encouragement

    Andrew: My next Klimt inspired piece will be dedicated to your good self

    Factor: I was at Epsom Art College, but was a HSD back then, not a degree course.

  5. I'm blown away Steve, what have you been doing all this time! I love the vibrancy and colour combinations especially on the Silver Birch bark. Just don't leave it another 32 years for the next one!

  6. Lovely, as somebody who would often thinks about getting back into drawing after nearly twenty years away from art college, but does little about it, I can appreciate your efforts. Carry on & enjoy your painting, Linda

  7. I love this! Especially love the bracken - stylised but very evocative.

  8. Jerry: maybe 32 days...

    Linda: go on, get back into it!

    Jonathan: many thanks