Richard Thorn - I remember being in hospital when I was five and to relieve the boredom of the long stay (which seemed endless, I recall), I passed the time drawing. There was a lot of positive feedback both from school and parents with regard to my seeming 'gift'. These affirmations proved to be the spark that lit the fire, and from then on, “drawing seemed to be as natural as eating”.
Trips to Dartmoor with my family proved to be a source of inspiration. Those early images of the rugged hills and streams provided the prima materia for my affinity with nature and landscape.
As I went through my schooling I seemed to come to the natural conclusion that being an artist was not just something that I would become but, rather, who I was!
I love the poetry of the land and the sea. The associations are strong and deep, I try to convey this in my work.
I'LL BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING! ...hours spent drawing like a mad-thing! Usually anything, but in particular it was Pirates, Galleons, fishing boats, war planes, tanks, battleships etc....etc...OK, I'm strange!
My favourite sport was Motorcycle Speedway. I went to see the Exeter falcons almost every week with a few schoolmates. I did numerous drawings of riders from Speedway magazines. (see inset 1). I didn't realise it at the time, but all of that drawing would prove to be the building block of my art. Weekend trips with my family to Dartmoor and various country villages (usually in search of a pub) - not me of course - would prove to be a good source of subject matter. (see inset 2) These images of rurality and parochialism would stay with me to return in my later work.
At school I was regarded as the 'best drawer in the school', which was just as well, as I wasn't all that good at other subjects - apart from English!
Newton Abbot School of Art was the next stop. I didn't actually finish the course as the lure of music got the better of me. This took me to London, I was 19. I carried on drawing and painting - in between the hedonism and the hunger! It wasn't until I was 30 that I turned to watercolours and a career in painting.
I was lucky enough to be 'taken on' by a Torquay Gallery who would buy most of my work. One of my paintings was presented to the Princess Michael of Kent after she expressed interest in it at a Devon County show. This was a bit of a boon to my career and my confidance and prompted me to take my work further afield.
Some years later I had the good fortune to meet Alistair Walton - who became a patron, collector and friend. He introduced me to John Robertson at the Bourne Gallery in Reigate where I enjoyed many exhibitions. John has since retired but those exhibitions would prove invaluable for establishing me in the art world. And so we come to the present where the work goes on and new exhibitions take place.
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