In your Artist Statement you say that you often work from life. Is this as difficult as we all imagine it to be, and if so, why persevere with it?
Working from life is often a struggle, takes time and is unpredictable, which is precisely why it should be attempted, if not all of the time, at least when it is possible.
I try to work from life where possible, because it is a direct line between the subject and the drawing or painting. It is not always possible to work from life – for example because of time restraints – so if I have to work from photographs I always use lots of them, from different angles, and never rely on a single one, because photographs often distort the image.
You work in both watercolour and oils. What would you say is the greatest strength/attribute of each?
Watercolour is a more fragile medium, more delicate, and oils are more robust and moveable.
Tell us a little about Charles, the painting selected for The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2016 exhibition.
The painting of my nephew Charles was inspired by the sight of him with his pet cockatiel (one of two) which often chooses people’s heads as suitable perches. It’s always more interesting to paint something familiar with a slightly different slant.
During your teenage years you developed a fascination with wildlife and were later elected a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA). Is there a wildlife artist who you particularly admire and what is it about their style/work that holds the attraction for you?
Raymond Harris Ching is a painter whose work I like [as it] … is very fresh and individual.
Define watercolour, or describe what it means to you, in one word.
Simon will be exhibiting at this year’s Society of Wildlife Artists show at Mall Galleries, London, in late October.
Should you wish to learn more about Simon and his work, the following sites may be useful: