Oil by Simon Fowler
Descending Chinkwell Tor
As a young boy I discovered a passion for drawing, which was to influence my life forever. I come from a family of artists from all disciplines including 3D work from pottery to sculpture and woodcarving.
I actually started working in oils in my early teens, encouraged and instructed by my Grandfather, who was prolific in Bristol and north Somerset, where I grew up. His influence still resonates through my work, as does the guidance from other experienced family members, whose knowledge has proved invaluable.
My first commission came at the age of 18 and this lead me to develop my style and explore new techniques as I matured as an artist. I am 59 now and have painted continuously all my life and have been endlessly inspired by the great outdoors, which is where I have spent most of my adult life.
My connection with the landscape was very hands on as a caver for 35 years on the Mendips, whilst also being a motorcyclist and angler. Twelve years of my life was spent boat building and restoring mostly wooden boats, which lead me into wood carving and sculpture for a long period. For the past 25 years, after training in forestry, woodland management and horticulture, I have been working as a Garden designer, which has allowed me to express all my artistic creativity on a grand scale. I feel I have a strong bond with the landscape we live in and I try to reflect that in my art.
I recently moved to Devon from Bristol with my partner, which has revealed itself to be a source of endless inspiration, particularly Dartmoor. In the 3 years we have been here, I have had numerous successful exhibitions and have found my work to be as well received here, as it was in Bristol. My work has found it's way around the world, Tasmania being the most recent to add to Australia, Canada, France and Spain.
A few years ago, I decided to move from painting on canvas, to painting on board. This has changed how I paint, particularly now that I have added a new range of Italian pigments to my more commonly available stock of oils.
The difference this has made, is that there is a new vibrancy to my work and it has allowed me to push my colour pallette beyond my previous boundaries.
'The joy of painting is the learning' and after 45 years of working in oils, it is pleasing to know that the learning never ends.
Oil on Box Canvas