The president of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and 2019 Artists of the Year judge shows us around
Where is your studio?
At home in Hornchurch. I started off in the kitchen. When my boys left home, I came upstairs in comfort. This used to be a bedroom; it’s not a bad sized-space. My mum comes and watches TV and reads magazines while I’m working. I always thought artists had posh places but, over the years, I’ve realised they don’t. I know some who have gazebos in the garden or use the shed. I’m quite comfortable.
How long have you been painting?
Twenty years. It’s actually not long considering how old I am.
How did you get the bug?
My granddad was an artist but that isn’t why I became an artist. I think it runs in the family – we are all quite artistic. I used to walk the dog around the block and when a new gallery opened I became friends with the young lady who owned it. She used to paint watercolour in the window and I was fascinated by the water, the paint and what they did. She gave me some paints and paper, and I painted some poppies.
I took them into her one morning. This guy came in and he was looking to buy a painting. He saw my poppies on the chair and he said, “Are they for sale?” That was it. It was the first time that I had painted anything and he bought it.
When did you join the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI)?
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