A to Z of professional artists and others who have impacted my life:
There are so many professional artists who have impacted my life, so I want to share some of them with you, as a thank you to them, in the hope also that you may find a happy place during this season and maybe start a new hobby. Here's the first artist, they will all be in alphabetical order..
Adebanji Alade rather appropriate that Adebanji is first as a reminder to keep sketching and drawing, as painting is really drawing with paint. I first read about him in some art magazines, then recently, in the SAA mag 'Paint' where I saw his latest book review. The blessing of this time is that the local library ordered that book for me and I purchased it since. Thank you Adebanji - stay safe and well in the joy and peace of our Saviour, Jesus.
B is for Harley Brown. I first met Harley early in my art journey, when i bought his book, 'Eternal Truths for Every Artist,' from a local charity/consignment shop. It has been one of my 'go to' books ever since. We were not long home from America, and it was a joy to see the beautiful pastel portraits within. On a return visit to Tulsa and a favourite bookstore, we came upon IA magazine, which then had me reading from back to front, as I once again discovered this master of pastel on the back pages. Harley has taught me such a lot about art and the art world. I am so glad he is now available on Facebook as one of the most generous artists I know. Another divine appointment to give thanks to Jesus. Thank you, Harley.
B is also for Tim Breaux and Robert E. Buchanan whom I also met in the pages of IA magazine.
C is for Marvin Chew, and International Watercolour Master who i first met at IWM 2018. I was drawn to his paintings filled with light and calligraphy brush strokes. It is always a joy to see him paint and i am looking forward to the blessing of taking part in one of his workshops next year, so i can learn more. He's a lovely guy too :) I thank God for you Marvin.
C is also for Fabio Cembranelli another IWM artist who inspires me with his loose floral paintings. I look forward to meeting him at IWM 2021.
D is for both, Marion Dutton (Mazart Studio) and Les Darlow. I admire both of these artists as artists, and for the way they do workshops and demonstrations. I am blessed to have experienced my very first workshops with them. Acrylics with Marion and Pastels with Les, both SAA professionals. They continue to inspire me, thank you both.
G is for Janine Gallizia who we were honoured to meet at IWM 2018 after being inspired by her writings and artwork in previous Art of Watercolour magazines where she opened the overwhelming world of watercolour to me. (Standing in front of her art). Another International Watercolour Master, Janine continues to inspire me to 'come up higher' and be a better painter, as myself. Thank you, Janine.
H is for Bill Hart now in glory, a true hero and artist and good friend. On a revisit to Tulsa in 2013 (the last time we saw him), I told Bill that I had just taken up the art journey. ‘Oh, I feel sorry for you,’ was his reply. I have pondered over those words many times and wonder whether it is because he knew there is so, so much to learn and I entered in rather late in life, or because he knew the challenges all artists face, plus of course, that we can never measure up to the Master artist Himself, our Saviour and Lord. Anyways, Bill certainly knew his gifting and even now continues to inspire many. We are so glad to have this large painting, plus a couple of smaller ones. The smaller one Bill presented to us when we returned to England from Tulsa in 2009. Sadly missed, never forgotten. We thank God for your life here on earth.
H is also for another commercial artist who has passed, Terry Harrison. I enjoyed my first watercolour workshop in 2016 with this jovial man and was looking forward to him returning to Lytham St Annes Art Society, the following year. Sadly, that didn’t happen. Terry’s art work can still be seen on the many jigsaw puzzles that adorn the shops and in various collections. A great teacher intent on making sure everyone was equipped, he provided everything needed for his workshops making sure everyone went home with a happy result
J is for professional watercolourist Patricia Jones. I first met Patricia in the Yorkshire Dales at one of her yearly exhibitions in the village of Grassington in 2016. Impressed with her paintings of the county I love, I mentioned her to a friend who was able to invite her to give a workshop at the Art group in Lytham the following March 2017. In all, I have enjoyed three of Patricia’s workshops given in her uniquely amusing way, she is a great teacher and makes the day fun and very productive. Thank you, Pat, for bringing me treasured moments in Yorkshire, one day hope to make it to your studio!
K is for Cynthia Knox, coloured pencil artist who was recommended by a good friend and is now a new professional friend to me inspiring me with her latest tutorial on face book. You can see the ‘Springtime,’ painting, as I have named it, on the art page for Sandra E Ball.
M is for Anna Mason, an excellent professional teacher, artist and writer of botanical art in watercolours I first met Anna online when she offered her free pear tutorial which I tackled in the summer of 2017 adding an apple to my painting, I named it, ‘Where’s the stair’ faithful followers of the art page may remember it. I joined her online school later that year for a year, and returned for a short time. One thing Anna has taught me is to really observe a subject as her life size tutorials seek out the details that most people overlook, or take for granted. Her two books are full of her own beautiful artwork and how she goes about the painting process.
M is also for Glyn Macey who I met at our one and only visit to the Patchings Art Centre Festival in the hot summer of 2018. I enjoyed his watercolour demo although he mostly paints in acrylics, so much so that I took up his offer of an online workshop given as a thank you from him for choosing to see his demo that day. Glyn very much cares for the environment and his native beautiful Cornish coastline and is a really lovely guy too.
P is for Pasqualino Fracasso one of the International Watercolour Masters. Ok, so I don’t know my alphabet, ha, ha. He is Italian after all, rather like Raphael I only really know him as Pasqualino. We met at IWM 2018 when I was mesmerized with his portraits. Although he paints other subjects including landscapes, it is the portraits that really interest me. He’s a lovely guy too and a joy to watch doing demos. Thank you, Pasqualino. I am looking forward to seeing you again at IWM 2022.
P is also for David Poxon RI who is the most passionate watercolourist I know. David is a brilliant organiser and is responsible for bringing artists together, for the betterment of all lovers of art, with the IWM events he has pioneered. He is not only a draughtsman, amazing painter and author, he knows how to bring life into his paintings of what some may call the mundane things around us, whether they are of industrial subjects or pieces of the places he has visited. His work sets the bar high for others who like to try and emulate him, however, I don’t think anyone will as he is so unique and special to many, not least the lovely Tara, his right hand lady. I thank God for you both.
R is for Geoff Rollinson a former gamekeeper, who is a wonderful countryside, wildlife and pet portrait artist. Geoff works in various media, including watercolours, yet his skill is in making exquisitely, realistic and detailed art work. I was blessed to meet him and his lovely dog whilst out on one of my usual monthly senior coach trips. We had visited Whalley and arrived in Ribchester, after lunch, for a couple of hours to roam around the quaint village. It was here that I stumbled upon Geoff’s art gallery and the man himself. It was a joy to chat with him and I left rather overwhelmed with the all the art work on show inside, stopping to look again in the window. Thank you, Geoff for inspiring me.
W is for legend watercolourist and author, Robert Wade, who along with the legendary Harley Brown (earlier on my list), made the first impressions on me. As it was when buying Harley’s book, I first met Robert when I bought his book ‘Watercolour Workshop’ book from a local charity/consignment shop at the start of this journey into art. It is another one of my ‘go to’ books. Both men, (who are good friends together) have, and are really blessing my life. I say they are legends because as they are both into their eighties they are the most experienced artists I know, and whose artwork sadly, (as happens in this world), will probably not be appreciated and loved for the masterpieces that they are until they have gone home to glory.
For what is another divine appointment, I thank God for you, Robert.
p.s. I am so glad that whoever donated those books to the charity shop, gave me a wonderful start as It seems, I was in the right place at just the right time. I obtained many of my original art supplies from the same source too so, that initially, it didn’t cost a fortune to embark on this journey. As you are probably aware there are still a lot of starving artists, out there in the world, who are passionate in their calling.
Y is for Jerry Yarnell who was first introduced to me by SAA professional artist, Marion Dutton, (Mazart Studio). We were blessed to visit him and have a tour of his wonderful studio in 2018 on a return visit to friends and family in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Jerry is a popular teacher, bestselling author and television personality in America and Canada. His studio, on the outskirts of Skiatook, contains a wealth of information in his massive research library with students gathering regularly for painting sessions with him. His passion for nature shines through his acrylics and oil paintings, and he also works with watercolours. Thank you, Jerry, Donna and Mary Lou for being such friendly hosts, and sharing with us your love of Jesus, our Saviour. God bless you always, we look forward to when we are able see you again, taking in a workshop, as promised.
I cannot close this recalling of my adventure into art without mentioning some more people, not necessarily professionals, who have also inspired, encouraged and instructed along the way. Please forgive me if your name is not mentioned as I will undoubtedly miss some, thank you anyway, you know who you are.
Starting out in late 2012 after the brain tumour, and whilst attending a local art group, I was invited to do some drawing sessions in a nearby garden centre, fortnightly, for a season, with retired art teachers Mr and Mrs Shakespeare. Marion was very strict and forbade the use of an eraser, however, it was all good discipline and a joy as my best friend, Celia, came along too. Celia is the person God used to introduce me to the initial local art group and painting. Sadly, she is not able to paint anymore through illness. We both met a lovely disabled lady who introduced us both to pastels for the first time, having fun on her kitchen table for a couple of sessions.
Following on from this, I joined our main library for a session of Smart Arts which also involved drawing with Sarah Hicks and led to a few sessions with Bonkers Clutterbox, with the lovely crafter, Kate Caruana Berry, (I still dislike working with glue) ha, ha. In turn, lack of funding closed Smart Arts, and I was invited to another smaller group working in ceramics, book binding, and printing with the lovely sculptress, inspirational lady and friend Sharn, and organised by Mark and Owen together, some in the group were very experienced artists also and a joy to be around as they continually inspired me.
It was whilst in this group that the opportunity came for me to do the pastel workshop with Les Darlow at Lytham St Annes Art Society, (a birthday gift) and consequently joining the group to which I still belong. Here, I have experienced the various workshops already mentioned, plus a very special one, a session of 6wks with professional artist, Becky Andrew arranged by our then President, Peter Dixon, through the Arts council. Becky introduced me to many different artists work and being primarily an oil painter herself, introduced us to a different way of painting watercolours rather like working with pastels.
Quite recently, I have had the opportunity to do a mostly monochrome portrait workshop online with another of the IWM 2022 artists and no doubt will continue to meet many more artists who will inspire, challenge and encourage.
Most of all, I want to thank everyone who is on this journey with me, amateur friends who are passionate to learn more along with all those who have not yet plucked up the courage to begin drawing or painting themselves, yet who love to see and faithfully engage in the art page. A big thanks to fellow amateur artist and friend, John Mole, for having me set up the art page in the first place. Thanks, John.
Someone I must not forget is our local councillor, Paul Galley, who gave me the privilege, honour, and blessing to hold my very first solo exhibition at our local library. Along with Paul’s help, David and myself, 32 paintings were hung. Not for sale purposes, as it was an advertising agent for the library - an opportunity to open the way for others to get involved, drawing more people into the library, and newly opened café, plus making it a more colourful space. Happily, many more amateur artists have taken part since, including photographers. It certainly gave me an insight as to what exactly is involved in holding art exhibitions…. A lot, a lot of work!!
Finally, without my beloved David’s support and the legacy for our two sons and granddaughter, alongside God’s help, of course, this art journey would not be possible. There is more to the adventure…. I’ll leave that for another time. Thanks for taking time here, may God’s richest and choicest blessings be forever yours and to Him be all the Glory. Stay safe, stay healthy…