How long have you been pochade painting?
I have been pochade and plein air painting for just under 3 years.
What 1st got you into pochade painting?
I used to love painting and drawing at school and always wanted to go to Art College. Alas after O levels I left school and went to work for my dad in the Building Industry, something I swore never to do. I have never stopped drawing, but for several years only did pen/ink and wash drawings. I always felt intimidated by oils but then 3 years ago I had a chance meeting with my O level Art teacher, Chris Daynes. We got talking and he said that he would help me get started with oils. I immediately fell in love with them but struggled badly. Chris encouraged me to read as much as possible and one of the first artists and the first two artists whose work he introduced me to were Fred Cuming and Edward Seago. Whilst looking through the book I saw a picture of Seago at a French easel and also a pochade box, so as a thankyou gift to Chris I bought us both boxes and easels. Havent looked back since!
What has been your best pochade place to paint or still life?
My favourite spot still has to be Rock Channel in Rye, East Sussex. There are so many painting opportunities and the light and skies are fantastic! North Cornwall is a close second though!
What time of the year do you prefer to paint in terms of temperature and light?
I like painting whatever time of year it is, but I prefer the Winter light to the glare and haze we get here in the Summer.
What time of the day is your favourite?
Early morning, as soon as the sun comes up!
What pochade boxes do you use?
I use a Julien French Easel and a cheap Pochade box from Artifolk... Am I allowed to say that?
What do you keep in your pochade box colours, brushes etc?
I keep a selection of brushes, but use a lot of cheap handover square brushes, no 6 up wards. I also always have some no 8 round hogs hair brushes and a rigger for finer details.The colours I use are normally as follows White , lamp black, naples yellow light, yellow ochre, Indian red, permanent mauve, burnt sienna, cerulean and French Ultra. I don’t use the black for any thing other than mixing greens ( I mix black with lemon yellow which makes wonderful grey greens) I have recently tried using just black and white to make blue too, which is interesting. I do also have cadmium red and an orange..but virtually never use them unless I need a serious colour note! I also don’t like using neat white.....I only use it very, very sparingly!
What do you prefer to paint on, canvas board, primed millboard?
Gessoed hardboard or MDF is my preference.
Who would you say is your favourite painter?
I don’t have an absolute favourite, but I admire all of the following, Edward Seago, Fred Cuming, Ken Howard, Chris Daynes, Sickert ( Probably would be my absolute favourite if forced to choose), Colin Orchard, and loads more!
What do you look at in a good painting more than anything?
For me a good painting has to have that wow factor, which is only created by a combination of good tone, colour and composition...There is no one thing, but when painting is good it really is good! I do like simple paintings though and the cleverest painters seem to say so much more with less. For me I guess a good painting is all about simplification and the talented artists that I admire seem to know just what to put in and what to leave out!
What is your favourite size to work on (box size)?
I don’t have a favourite size but always have a selection of boards to hand which usually consist of 6” X 8”, 9” X 12” & 12” X 16”
Have you exhibited any pochades? If so where, gallery/sites/shows?
I have my paintings on show at The Turtle Fine Art Gallery in Rye and have exhibited at The Rye Society of Artists. I have also been commissioned to paint a series of pochades of The Rock guitar legend, Jeff Becks Garden!
If you can sum up the pochade box and what it brings to you in one sentence what would that be?