My father knows a hell of a lot about quantum physics, growing the world’s spiciest chillies, and oil painting.
I am often asked how I learnt to draw:
‘Did you go to classes?’
‘Isn’t there some kind of device that I can buy to do your job for me?’
Nope, I haven’t really taken any art courses, and yep, a camera and printer could probably save you the trouble of learning how to draw portraits, but hey. I actually only started using colour pencils one year ago, but I have always, always valued making art and creating things. I have grown up in an ingeniously creative and supportive family – my great aunt rendered photorealistic still life pencil drawings, whilst my aunt can make absolutely anything from clay, mosaic tiles and stained glass. My grandmother paints landscapes, and insists on keeping the kitchen paper towels that I used to decorate. My grandfather very sweetly prefaces his weekly lectures with one of my drawings, whilst collecting portfolios of archival prints of various artists, mapmakers and botanists’ work. Today I thought that I would share with you some of my Dad’s oil paintings, which have always been an immense source of inspiration. Also, happy Father’s Day, Dad, I love you!
These remarkable works were created with oil paint on board or canvas. He buys the frame first, primes the surface and uses turpentine, linseed oil as paint reducer, palette knives, brushes and sponges to build up the layers of paint, whilst always maintaining an extremely smooth, flat surface. He can spend months on one painting, somehow finding time in between work and running all of us around to add in extra details. (Many of the works below aren’t yet signed, as he doesn’t believe that they are finished).