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INTERVIEW - STEVEN ALEXANDER

How long have you been pochade painting?

Over 30 years

What 1st got you into pochade painting?

My father, Chris Alexander, was a fine outdoor painter who taught and encouraged me. I started with pencil and wash on site and then, when I was more confident with composition, tone and perspective, I began to work outdoors in both oils and watercolour.

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What has been your best pochade place to paint or still life?

Up and down the Thames, and in my home area of Thanet. I have also used a pochade box extensively in France and Spain.

What time of the year do you prefer to paint in terms of temperature and light?

Any time, because I like misty light as much as bright light.

What time of the day is your favourite?

Late afternoon light (incidentally, it was Constable’s favourite), because the effects are either soft or dramatic, but fleeting.

What pochade boxes do you use?

Up until recently, a 10 X 14 inch box, but now also a 6 x 8, which I have modified to take up to 6 X10 inch boards.


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What do you keep in your pochade box colours, brushes etc?

Colours (black, white, yellow ochre, lemon yellow, cadmium yellow, Naples yellow, alizarin crimson, sap green, cerulean blue, French ultramarine, raw/burnt umber, cadmium orange, magenta), 4 brushes (half inch flat to block in, smaller brushes to add detail), white spirit, palette knife, rags.

What do you prefer to paint on, canvas board, primed millboard?

Canvas board.

Who would you say is your favourite painter?

Daubigny, Corot, Theodore Rousseau, Díaz de la Peña – essentially the Barbizon group – and Sisley, and Singer Sargent.

What do you look at in a good painting more than anything?

Its tonal truth, the quality of the brush marks, its structural unity.

What is your favourite size to work on (box size)?

7 X 10 inches.

Have you exhibited any pochades? If so where, gallery/sites/shows?

RA, NEAC, RSMA, W.H.Patterson (Venice in peril), Boat Show (Excel), Mall Galleries with the Wapping Group.

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