I come from a theatrical background. I’m half Irish and my childhood home was a place where extraordinary things happened. It was an environment where my brothers and I seemed bound to do something unusual. I’m very grateful for that.
Drawing was the original expression. I would draw an awful lot, trying to emulate other artists, to understand how they created what they did; but sketching it was and remained to be, until I found the mettle to use colour.
This happened long before I studied at Wimbledon School of Art and Kingston University. Having stubbornly lived in the world of black and white, I finally made myself paint – all exuberant enthusiasm and no clear direction. However, I had a breakthrough when I was 18 years old. I had painted for some time by then, but this was the first time I had made a painting so seriously, with no experimentation, just care and an urgent responsibility to get it right. It was a portrait of my Dad, and without sign or suggestion, I leapt years ahead to produce something my 18 years could have thwarted. This was the turning point. It was no longer a case of just loving painting, but realising that I could be good at it.
It changed everything. Painting replaced drawing completely. I only drew again at college and again, gave it up when I left. I think that I had spent so much time making preliminary studies with pencil or charcoal, opposing the commitment of using colour, I now paint immediately, considering preparatory sketches unnecessary.
I became an illustrator shortly after leaving college and received a national award. The need to tackle an unlimited range of subject matter, was a very useful experience. I learned a lot in painting what I did not want to, as well as what I loved.
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The World Stands Still£465.30–£695.00
The World Stands Still by Hamish Blakely
Whether it was drawing his favourite comic book superheroes or producing caricatures of his school teachers, Hamish Blakely’s natural facility with pencil paved the way for a future in painting from an early