Iíve been told that have a passion for art! This passion started while I was at school as an interest in still life and wildlife drawing and has continued all through my life so far. To be able to pick up a pencil and paper and draw is therapeutic, no matter what the results, I believe that this is a benefit that all of us can enjoy.
My father, a painter and decorator by trade, was a keen amateur artist. When as a young lad I became interested in drawing, he spent a great deal of his spare time helping me with my efforts to draw. At this time I was using any old pencil on any convenient paper, even lining paper. Drawing mainly war planes, boats, tanks and soldiers, as all healthy warmongering young children do. I continued to sketch and doodle, often on my school books, until I reached my teens. While in Secondary education I became influenced by the input of my Art teacher, who guided my efforts into both still life drawing and wildlife drawing. I remained with sketching as a discipline, using various pencils, pens and charcoal, throughout the rest of my school years. There were two main reasons for this particular interest., firstly, I was generally pleased with my results and secondly, I disliked painting. I found it dificult to find what I considered, realistic, colour's for any paintings. At that time I thought that paintings should be excactly like photographs and of course no paints could match the colours seen by my eyes. This frustration and inability to find expression in the paints available to me and my dislike of the smell of oil paint, led to my rejection of painting or even trying to paint. To this day, I still have a profound dislike of the smell of linseed oil and 'turps'.
Early in my working life, I met and worked with an ex professional photographer. He helped me to select my first SLR 35mm camera which I duly bought and for a while I became enamoured by pictures on film rather than paper. This workmate also schooled me in some of the basic priciples of photography and, I supose, I was a keen student. I used to photograph all kinds of subjects and to this day I still maintain an interest in photography. The pictures I take nowadays are used more as a reference for art projects and as a record of visits. I am sure that the basic knowledge learnt, especialy with regard to form and composition, has transfered to my painting and drawing.
During teenage, what with the discovery of girls, drawing sort of melted into the background for quite a few years. I still scribbled and doodled but other things became more important. It was not until the birth of my children, with their early attempts at drawing and painting, that my own interest was re kindled. Teaching my own children to draw, hoping that they would enjoy it as much as I did as a child, got me back into 'Art'. While I was at this time interested in mainly pencil sketching, I discovered that my father, having retired from the building trades, had become quite an accomplished watercolour artist. While on a family holiday in Snowdonia, having left the family on a Barmouth beach, I took a car trek around some of the minor routes up in and around the mountains. Having negotiated severall narrow roughly surfaced tracks around a mountain, near Brithdir, I happened upon a water colour artist, sat beside the road. He was painting one of the incredible views, 'down the valley', that could be found in that area. Having watched him paint, for about an hour, in what is described as a loose style, I took my leave and returned to the family on the beach. Upon returning home from the holiday, I was very keen to try out these water colours for myself. My father who had been using them, along with acrylics, for some time, helped me set up and find a palette of colours that I was happy with. I then began to experiment and practice, painting landscapes in watercolours. Sometimes I varied these with drawings in pen and ink and then adding a colour wash. But for a while watercolours were my main art interest. That is, until, as a family, we got Sky T.V. Then I discovered, funnily enough, on the discovery channel, a afro haired American artist with his show "The Joy of Painting"®. He had such a relaxed style, that I was drawn in by his friendly drawl and, during his half hour show, he painted a fantastic oil painting. I was well and truly hooked.
Who is this Bob Ross?    About painting4fun?