I am an amateur artist from London, England although I have been living and teaching English in Salamanca, Spain for almost ten years. I have been painting and drawing as a hobby all my life but chose to study Computer Science at Edinburgh Universiy in Scotland followed by a degree in International Studies here in Spain to to a few courses in Spaish and English and other things more relevant to my current employment.
I have never formally studied art or painting but read lots of books from the library on composition and colour theory and the like when I was a teenager, followed later by articles on technique from editions of my mother's subscription to the Artist magasine. I started painting in watercolours quite 'seriously' at the age of 10 during the long summer holiday before starting secondary school and during adolescence used to escape by painting dragons and knights in oils, greatly inspired by role playing games and especially the art of Larry Elmore and other Dungeons and Dragons artists. At university, although I was officially studying computer programming and mathematics, I went to life drawing classes where we drew male and female models in charcoal. I also did lots of pen drawing and pencil drawing and some painting and won a few competitions.
I started teaching English in Rome, Italy and didn't do any art, just absorbed other people's. Then after a year I moved to Spain and slowly started painting again, at first I felt art had to be new and groundbreaking so I did lots of bad abstract painting and exaggerated colours too much. This desire to produce 'art' gave me little satisfaction and I had better results when copying some Van Gough and Monet paintings. I began to realise that impressionism and some realism was the direction I wanted to go in and since then I have been on quite a steady trajectory towards improving my technical skills and trying to make my paintings look less ameteurish. Giving up on producing 'art' and instead dedicating myself to 'painting' was definitely a good move and got me back on a path I had started off on as a child. Now my painting is getting quite good and I am dissapointed less and less by the results.
In Spain I have won a few competitions and had a few exhibitions but am much more interested in the reach I have online than putting stuff in cafes and libraries in small town Spain. I started uploading paintings on flickr a few years ago and was excited by the feedback I was getting from all over the world. I started this blog but didn't post much, prefering to paint and post on flickr. Recently I have noticed that people are actually reading the blog so I have come back to it with more enthusiasm, there are lots of things I have learnt from either trial and error or from other sources and I find that when I start a post I have more to say on the subject than I thought. Maybe it will inspire other people who want to paint and produce stuff that is satisfying and rewarding but are put off because they haven't been to art school or are intimidated by the label 'art'. I still have a long way to go before I will be completely satisfied with my paintings, I see other artists who inspire me to try things I haven't done before, or seem to have found solutions to problems I come across. I hope this blog will do the same for others.