Tom took a degree in History of Art and life classes at the Royal Academy, but apart from that has had no formal training. His natural ability comes from years of painting and perhaps a little is owed to an artistic heritage - his father John is an internationally acclaimed professional watercolourist and his grandfather was a cartoonist for ‘Punch’ as well as an architect.
Tom spent a year as artist in residence to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in 2011, accompanying them on both ceremonial duties and daily routine at Hyde Park Barracks. The resultant exhibition in April 2012 established Tom as a painter of the figure in movement.
Soon after, Tom’s attention turned to the circus, and he spent time with Giffords Circus as well as a trip to Transylvania to experience circus life and gypsy heritage up close. The circus exhibition that followed was a sell out.
Next came trips to Rajasthan, Jodhpur and the old fort in Nagaur for the annual cattle fair in 2016, then Jaipur and Udaipur in 2018. Tom exhibited the paintings from these trips in 2018. Since then Tom has traveled to and painted Rome, Outer Hebrides, Cornwall and the coast close to his home in Dorset.
Tom has exhibited at New English Art Club, the Royal Society of British Portrait Painters, the Royal Society of British Artists and the Royal Watercolour Society.
Since early March this year, I have been spending some time trawling the coast paths and beaches and byways of Cornwall lugging paints, kit and canvas in search of subjects that might illustrate those particular qualities of light, colour and atmosphere that evoke this mystical peninsular.
My preferred method when painting landscape is to work on location (or ‘en plein air’, as the Impressionists labelled it) and as directly as is allowed by the prevailing light and conditions. This is not without challenges. On one occasion I was caught by the tide at Tregardock and forced to scramble up a rather unstable cliff with all my kit whilst attempting not to ruin the wet painting I had in hand. It made the cut but took some scrub and flies with it!
Half of all painting for me is the experience or ‘feeling’ associated with a particular time and place, and the struggles with paints and brushes in order to ‘get it all down’ before the light changes, and the storm clouds gather. At its worst it is despairing but at best the most exhilarating and rewarding of things.
Born in 1943, Elsa studied under the tutelage of Robin Child and his work still has an influence. His lectures and the subsequent intensive study of past masters has brought about an awareness and appreciation of art that changed the course of Elsa’s painting.
Elsa lives and works in the Cotswolds. This landscape has frequently been an inspiration and the subject of Elsa’s landscapes along with Cornwall, Scotland and Italy.
Described as a natural colourist, Elsa’s confident and often unexpected choice of colours set her work apart. Her interest in abstraction was sparked by the construction and composition of landscape, and also of flowers….a fascination with their colours, textures and patterns.
Elsa has exhibited at The Mall Galleries in London and is a member of the Armed Forces Art Society. She won the society prize in 2007 for her painting ‘Fort’ and the Thales Prize in 2011 for her painting ‘Ben Armine, Sutherland’.
“This collection of work came about over the last sixteen months .
My studio is an old barn, once the village smithy. It is a beautiful place which has changed very little over the years (festoons of cobwebs too high to reach) but it is cool in the summer and warm from the wood stove in winter months.
The paintings are as much about feeling as seeing the subjects, whether the bridlepaths and woods of my walks or poppies and wild flowers gathered along the way. Memory too plays a part and visits to Italy with its vertiginous villages. Anghiari came to mind for Village in Moonlight and ‘Of Clay and Wattles Made’ was an imagining of Yeats’ cabin at Innisfree.
There are so many wonderful painters who play a part in my thinking and I surround myself with favourite books open to excite me to colour and line and brush stroke including Giorgio Morandi, Nicholas de Stael, Joan Eardley and Craigie Aitchison. All bear the evidence of messy days in the studio and all are a valuable resource to the solitary painter.”