Creativity across the years. (Text By J. N. Pearce, with quotes from artists in italics.)
Except in the case of Clement Griffith, whom I met in the sixth form at Stationers’ School in 1958, artists on this page are those I met after leaving Hornsey College of Art in 1963, and whose lives and work I have been aware of over the years, from close encounters or collaboration, sometimes more distantly.
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“It was my reaction to what was not said in my upbringing that started me off as an artist, and then later, it was to find meaning in the world and share it with others.”
John Richter studied at Cambridge School of Art, learning stone carving and letter cutting in the Eric Gill tradition from Donald Potter and Kevin Cribb. He studied painting at Chelsea College of Art, where he also lodged with, and learned wood engraving from, Gertrude Hermes.
Apart from his teachers, his main influences at this time were the art of ancient Egypt, cubism and the early 20th century pioneers of modernism in St Ives.
In 1968 John moved to America, working for a time as assistant to the Russian constructivist Naum Gabo, and as a Jewellery designer with The Metropolitan Museum, the Boston Museum of Fine Art, and Steuben Glass Company, New York. Always drawn to deserts, he subsequently moved to Tucson, Arizona, where the Rosequist Gallery represented his desert paintings.
Since 1980 John Richter has lived and worked in Norfolk, showing paintings in the Bircham Gallery, Holt. He acquired some whelk sheds on the wharf at Wells, which he developed as his own studio-gallery.
“My paintings start with an initial demand to find a visual equivalent, then to locate an external means, quite conventional, such a coastal view, or a vase of flowers.
The task is to take the painting through a selection of colour and pattern harmonies within a pictorial structure, into a different and personal vision. At times the transition is more obvious than others, but the objectivity of this process has always been my inspiration.”
The little sailboat is a metaphor for the soul leaving the protection of the land for the experiences of life; its dangers, excitement and opportunities.
To see more of John Richter’s current work, click on:
JOHN RICHTER NORFOLK PAINTER
“For me, once I have ‘woken up’, so to speak, I see something from the corner of my eye. It’s ephemeral; sometimes it shimmers, sometimes it’s dark and odd looking. Sometimes it hands itself to me fully formed and other times it has to be chipped away to be revealed. There was a chance I never would have done anything. It was just luck that I woke up.’
Born in Belfast in 1948, Susan grew up in County Down and studied fine art and ceramics at Belfast School of Art and Design, under the potter Laurie Smith, obtaining the Diploma in Art and Design in 1969.
For her dissertation, she studied the carved and ceramic surfaces of Belfast architecture, working with the architect John Gilbert and the composer and architect Marcus Patten MBE.
Above: dresses, pencil – sea pots – impressed vase – photos of ‘sea-ribbed sand’ – ‘sandcast’.
Susan uses techniques of printing and rubbing to show figures, plants and shadows, and she draws from observation and imagination. The underlying obsession is the moulding of form, and impression in the widest sense, tactile or theatrical: that of the human body within a dress once worn, patterns made by the sea on sand, or flickering light on the mind’s eye.
Above: Siegfried (ink) – Firebird (pencil) – dancer – figure with fan.
“The one continuum we know just shrugs. To it, no blame attaches. There the catch is.” (‘Stuck’ From ‘the world of always Sunday’, C. Griffith 2017)
Clement attended the Central School of Arts and Crafts 1964-68. He wrote his graduate thesis on anarchism, and studied the history of art and education, becoming a lecturer in liberal studies, initially to police cadets. Clement has travelled widely and has always been a prolific writer. His pictures accompany his stories, satires, poems, sceptical observations, and novels.
“My drawings and paintings have always tended to the figurative. I am strongly beguiled by appearance, both of the world, and of art that has a visual relationship to it – although I cannot conceive of any visual art that does not”
Clement might be described as an undeceived fantasist.
END OF THE LINE
Oh yes, you’ll live,
and have your moments too,
before you waft a tiny tad of poo.
They’ll change you patiently and wait
upon your long fumble at the gate.
They will die too, and clocks will suffer ticks.
Enter, exit; in between’s the fix.
Oh yes, you’ll end, as if you never knew;
a kiss, a handshake, or a drink or two
is best, and does all honour decently,
though most just fade away and cease to be.
The cause of death is life, and more or less,
posthumous hoping just a groping guess.
Oh yes, you’ll go,
as of a general rule.
You’ll slump in the TV lounge,
They’ll come to see you, mention this and that,
bringing biscuits and a halting chat,
and watch your fingers fidget as you drift,
then rise through twilight in a little lift.
“I paint out of necessity, to embody who or what I am at any given moment, and to leave a more permanent trace of my fugitive vision.”
Pauline was born in Merseyside in 1946. She studied painting at the Central School of Art and Design and at the Slade. She has worked in graphic design, animation, book illustration and textiles. Her painting became highly Photo Realist, but by the early 1990s she had found new painting territory, which she is still exploring.
“I have a sense that I am only ever searching for that one painting. Sometimes it semi-arrives in a surprising form. The occasional sense of achievement is profound but very short lived; the search is always on. I cannot stop or go backwards.”
Pauline has exhibited in ‘Art of Imagination’ exhibitions in London, USA and Europe, in the Henry Boxer Gallery of Outsider and Visionary Art, in the Raw Arts Festival, Islington, in ’Images of Elsewhere’ with Talisman Fine Art, and in ‘Where Art meets Science,’ at Pennsylvania University.
See also: www.imagesofelsewhere.co.uk
‘Although I work in different styles, I’m still on a journey to develop a style which is realistic but not photographic.
My method of working has, up to now, been dictated by commercial considerations but I’m trying to produce work which has impact on a gallery wall as well as on the printed page. This needs a different mindset because, although we use the same materials, illustration and fine art painting are very different activities.
Learning creatively from your own past work and from the example of others is a continuing and never ending process.’
Phillip Hood studied graphic design at the London College of Printing from 1968 to 1971. On graduation he joined the illustration agency Young Artists, through which he began to produce artwork for book covers, especially crime fiction.
In 1974 Phil joined Punch magazine as a designer, while continuing a parallel career as an illustrator. He also drew for Punch, and has subsequently become a sought-after caricaturist at corporate events in the UK.
From the 1980’s Phil developed as an international trompe l’oeil mural painter, with commissions in Denmark, Ireland, Turkey, Abu Dhabi and the UK. He has also taken commissions to make copies of valuable paintings, acknowledging the source. Throughout his career Phil has exhibited illustration work at the Association of Illustrators, the Illustration Cupboard gallery and A View of London show at The Transport Museum.
Phil’s work has also been successful in open exhibitions for freelance artists. In 2009, 2010 and 2017 he was short listed for the Sunday Times watercolour prize at the Bankside and Mall galleries.
Hood has developed a detailed technique combining imagination with factual consistency. While he uses photographic and other reference material, he works also from direct observation, in particular by constant practice in life drawing.