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Paul’s Paintings


The same old question that we, who are about to retire, are always asked, was asked of me around three years ago - what the hell was I going to do with all this new found spare time? Working in the garden is fine, and hoovering the house has to be done, and so on, but the time that is left over is what mattered for me. I felt I wanted to do something different and creative.


The answer to this came from our very own village, in the form of Melvyn Elliot, a great guy who was willing to put aside some of his time every week for a season of watercolour painting classes. I joined his group with some trepidation - although I knew I could draw a bit, and had dabbled with the brush on and off many years ago, I was essentially a starter student, and there were bound to be many in the group with more experience and practice who would no doubt immediately make me feel like a rather poor novice. And indeed there were, with some brilliantly creative work being produced every session.


Melvyn was an excellent tutor, and he soon had me mastering some of the techniques with the brush, and I was really getting into it. The group was a wonderful way of obtaining opinion and feedback, and the social aspect of this was also a very valuable bonus of the sessions.


Hares Playing in a Field - Watercolour (my last painting from Melvyn's group).


Clearing up after the Storm- My first acrylic on stretched canvas 500mm x 400mm - After Alwyn Crawshaw


After two very enjoyable seasons, I left the group because I wanted to try a different medium on larger canvasses at home. I tried painting with acrylics, and found the flexibility of this medium quite exhilarating. Acrylics are a relatively modern development in paint, rather Like oils, without the smell of turpentine, and without the burden of having to wait hours for a layer to dry before applying the next.


Does my bum look big in this? - Watercolour from a black and white photograph by James Ravilious


The Walk Home - Acrylic on stretched canvas 500mm x 540mm - From a black and white photograph by James Ravilious.


I started simulating other artist's work, and stuck to realism at first as much as I could, really just to learn to control the medium more effectively. My favourite artists are Alwyn Crawshaw (who I met once when he lived in Dawlish) and the great JMW Turner, and I have included a couple of examples of my own humble representations of two of their paintings that I have admired so much over the years.


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