Art, // January 20, 2015
Graham Berry – ARTIST
Artist Graham Berry, in his own words —
I’ve always loved to draw and paint, my talent such as it is was inherited from my mother, who was a very gifted artist. A teacher at junior school told my mother that when I leave school I should go to art college. So I never really thought about doing anything else but going to art college. When I finally got to art college, I loved it, although the course was for Graphic design we were encouraged to draw as much as possible. When I completed my diploma I moved to London to do a post graduate course specialising in Illustration. After completing my course I stayed in London and was employed as a illustrator/visualizer in a small design studio in Soho.
I’ve only recently begun to consider myself as a painter, although I’ve drawn and painted most days for the past 40 years it was as an illustrator, any painting I did in my spare time were done to promote my illustration career. It as only been since my illustration work is now 100% digital that I can separate myself as a painter.
So I only consider I started painting 2 years ago. My digital illustration is done in my downstairs office and my paintings are done in a spare bedroom upstairs, totally separate physically and mentally which is very important to me.
I have used most media, including gouache, acrylics, oils, colored pencil, scratchboard, airbrush, woodcut, pastel, most of these have been mainly in my illustration work. Over the years I have gradually specialised in watercolors, although two of my largest commissions were oil portraits, one of a racehorse owner and his two winning horses, measuring 40″ x 60″! I do hope to produce more oil paintings this summer.
If I don’t feel like painting I will stretch 5 or 6 water-colour sheets and do the initial pencil drawings, that way when I do feel more like painting I can go straight at it. I must admit though I am very self disciplined and if I need to get a painting done I will do it wether I feel like it or not. I’m always on the look out for images that will make interesting paintings, I try to take my camera with me at all times just in case I see something that appeals. Other times I will go to a specific place or event with the intention of getting material for painting, usually I will do a series of paintings from those photos or sketches.
At the moment I am trying to include figures in my paintings, figures always bring a painting to life and provide a narrative to the scene. I also look at other artists work for inspiration, although I’ve only recently joined ‘DPW’, the work I see on there is very inspiring. Every painting I produce adds to my knowledge of what works or doesn’t work, I’ve got quite a lot painting books by contemporary artists, discussing methods and materials, I devour them. I’ve also bookmarked 100’s of painters websites, reading about their experiences and of course looking at their work.
I just love painting, always have, but like most artists I’m never really happy with my work, always full of self doubt and self criticism. It can also be a very solitary life, so it is always good to hear positive feedback from other artists. It also makes me happy that someone likes my work enough to buy it and put it on their wall, that is the ultimate seal of approval. — Graham Berry