How I Got Here

I’m perhaps best known for my textile designs for magazines (please see textile page), but I have painted and drawn too, for most of my life. Some of my earliest memories are of using home-made charcoal to draw on the back of an old roll of wallpaper that my mother had managed to get for me. That was in the late 1950s . On this page are a few of my pieces from the early days that I thought might be interesting to see.

But to start with, I’m not the first painter in the family. My grandfather painted these Northumbrian poppies around the 1920s.

poppies

Many of my mother’s Aunts also painted, such as this watercolour that I’ve always loved, by Great Aunt Fan

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My mother painted and drew, but she had no confidence in her abilities. Instead she encouraged me, and whenever she could she took me to see great art of all kinds in galleries and museums -some of my best childhood memories. I loved animals and one day I saw a copy of Landseer’s Monarch of the Glen, which inspired this painting which I did in junior school..

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Trips to museums also fostered my interest in ancient Egyptian art and history. I copied this from a book, What I remember most about it was that in the illustration the lady wore a costume of transparent white fabric. Try as I might I just couldn’t get it right, so ended up painting over it with orange poster paint. The servant dressing her hair also caused me some distress. She was much prettier at one point, but the more I worked over the face the worse she looked. I was heartbroken to have spoiled her, and to my mind, spoiled the picture.

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Fast forward quite a few years to my college days, and my experimenting with dramatic light and subject. Oil painting on board, 1978. Daniel.

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An interest in Tudor history, fashion and portraiture while I was at school ended up inspiring this acrylic painting…

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Having just been to see The Hobbit, I looked out this old drawing I did of Gollum, from about 1975. Okay, so we all know he looks different now, but back then we’d never seen the films!

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