Chris in her studio
MEET THE MEMBER – Chris Lockwood
Other art societies you belong to:
Cambridge Drawing Society, Cambridge Open Studios and Cambridge District Art Circle.
When did you start painting?
I have always painted as long as I can remember. My parents encouraged me to go to Art College in Chester, Cheshire and then to Nottingham Trent where I gained a BA Hons Degree in Textile Design. I remember designing with mainly gouache paints. For the next 10 years I stayed in Nottingham and set up a business with another textile designer /seamstress and together we designed and hand printed fabrics which we made into garments for many independent fashion shops in Nottingham. Eventually we had our own shop in St. James’s St. in the city centre.
I moved to Cambridgeshire in the early 1990’s, got married and had a family. I continued with my designing and sold at large craft fairs around East Anglia.
How long have you been a Member of the SEAW? What attracted you to join?
I have been a member since SEAW first started. I saw an advert in Waitrose in St Ives inviting artists to apply to join the society and exhibit at Anstey Hall in Trumpington, Cambridge. I remember one of my paintings exhibited there was a bunch of grapes hanging from a pergola and to my delight it sold.
What subject matter do you like to paint?
I paint a variety of subjects, but my favourite has to be flowers, gardens and the natural landscape. During lockdown I painted many of the flowers in my cottage garden and as they bloomed, I painted them!
Where do you paint? At home? Studio? Outside?
I am so lucky to be able to paint in part of the beautiful sunroom in my house. It’s south facing and is flooded with sunlight- ideal for painting in.
I also love working outside, particularly in my sketch book. If you look at it, it tells so many stories of where I have been, the sights, the sounds, descriptive words as well as sketches and watercolour paintings. I sometimes paint with oils ‘en plein air’ as well as watercolours. You can’t beat being outside, soaking up the atmosphere, whether it’s in a wood full of bluebells, or sat by a babbling river with just the sounds of the chirping birds for company. I’ve sat sketching on rocks on beaches in Cornwall, in front of waterfalls with mosquitos in the Scottish Highlands and surrounded by flowers in the beautiful gardens of Claude Monet in Giverny.
When out and about, I find people are so friendly and intrigued by watching artists at work. I remember in Tenby, a young lad tentatively came up to me, looked at my sketchbook painting and said, ‘that’s class, that is!!’ He made me laugh.!!
Which artists inspire you and why?
I have been greatly inspired by the work and techniques of the Brazilian artist Fabio Cembranelli. He has such a softness and looseness in the way he creates his watercolours, particularly in his flower paintings.
Another artist whom I admire is the painter Joaquin Sorolla (called the Spanish Master of Light). He has the most incredible use of light in his oil paintings. I was totally blown away by an exhibition of his work at the National Gallery several years ago. (My favourite painting was ‘Sewing the Sail ‘)
When I was a 20-year-old Textile student, I first saw Monet’s huge canvases in the Musee de l’Orangerie in Paris. They had a huge impact on me then and they still do today. I remember seeing the Waterlilies Triptych (Agapanthus) in 2016 at the Royal Academy, it moved me to tears to see it again decades later. It was the first time all three paintings had been displayed together in the UK.
What galleries do you like to visit?
I love to visit the inspirational Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour exhibition at the Mall Galleries.
What is your favourite colour to paint with?
Ultramarine Violet by Schmincke is my favourite colour. It is the most beautiful semi-transparent blue and a good granulating colour.
What is your favourite brush?
My favourite brush is my number 6 Rigger (Escoda Versatil round). It’s a great brush for detail and calligraphic marks, has a wonderful point and holds lots of paint too.
Do you have any artistic successes or achievements that you would like to share with readers?
I am thrilled to say one of my paintings’ Soaking up the Sunshine’, a portrait of my daughter Jessica, has won an International Watercolour Painting Contest. Inspired by the beautiful sunshine falling on her messy hair as we walked along the streets in Rome. I am one of six first prize winners who will have their painting displayed alongside 30 of the Master Watercolour Painters of the World at a special exhibition (International Watercolour Masters Exhibition) at Lilleshall Hall, Shropshire, May 16th – 29th 2022. This is such an honour for me.
What is the best piece of advice you were ever given about art?
Try to keep the freshness, luminosity, and spontaneity in a painting. Stop before you overwork it.
I was explaining this to my painting students in a painting demonstration several weeks ago and they told me to stop and put my brush down before I overworked it!!
Website address: www.chrislockwoodwatercolours.co.uk
Instagram: Chris Lockwood Fine Art
Facebook profile: Chris Lockwood
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