Skeet's Bakery

Watercolour on 300 pound Arches hot pressed (smooth).

This painting was from a photograph taken on holiday in Barbados. Working from photographs can be restrictive and unlike a sketch when I can sort out any problems on site, I find that photographs bring the problems back to the studio, besides that I find a sketch embeds into my memory the important details of the subject, taking a photograph is too fleeting, however the photographic approach is handy at times, when working this way I generally sketch the detail I require and then dump the photograph, trying to keep some control of my washes is hard enough on a medium rough paper, it's nearly impossible on smooth and so I need to paint as freely as possible.

Influences:- The Potteries, Stoke on Trent or the Five Towns, artistic talent in abundance, at one time around the middle of the twentieth century the City had six members of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour living and working within it's boundaries. When I attended the Stoke on Trent College of Art in the 1950's I used to watch as lithographic artist apprentices worked directly on to a very fine quality Limestone, drawing in halftones one dot at a time. Sadly fifty years later the pottery industry has been decimated, 'Pot Banks' turned into museums, but there still remains a fine Art Society whose traditions stretch back over the golden days of the pottery industry, perhaps 'golden days' is the wrong term as much of the work was hot, hard, dirty and underpaid, but I refer only to the artists working in Stoke at the time.