I began to study painting at evening classes in the late ’70s, attending portrait painting and life classes, where my teachers were Manchester artists Peter Shaw and Alan Thompson. I was steered towards the medium of oil paint, and I learned the importance of composition and simplification. Alan Thompson did much to demystify the problems of the painter, encouraging me to work directly and unselfconsciously.
In the ’80s, I painted enthusiastically as an antidote to my daytime occupation as a bank employee, and I had a little success with acceptances at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions of 1990 and 1993. I moved to my present home in Poynton, Cheshire in 1995. The house has a small studio and is ideally placed within walking distance from varied landscape motifs. I retired from the bank in 1997, then painting almost daily, though this has reduced in recent years.
I have found that lessons learned in one activity, or indeed in life, frequently give benefit elsewhere. Thus my experiences as a painter have helped my origami work, and vice-versa. I realised that the form, pose and movement of my subject comes well before any attention to minute detail. I learned to “squint” at my subject in order to simply the forms and concentrate on the whole image. For me these principles apply to both paper and paint. I believe honesty to the medium is paramount. The finished painting must look like paint, and the completed origami design must show delight in the qualities of the paper and the texture of the folds.
All material © Dave Brill 1975-2017