I became interested in the concept of an Essex Gallery many years ago following a meeting organised by our past Chairman, Vin Harrop at the Fold in Billericay. A small group of us then attempted to raise the need for a place for Essex artists to show their work given the number in the county. Various projects followed over many years, many floundered due to lack of funding but now the relatively new The Foundation for Essex Arts (TFEA) combined with the Basildon Arts Trust forming one overall charity is seeing great progress. I hope our goal of establishing a bursary for potential art university hopefuls in the South West of Essex reaches a successful conclusion in the near future.
My own background is as follows - as a self-taught artist, I have painted since childhood exploring drawing, watercolour and oil painting. I discovered pastels later and this particular media lit a fire in me that I had never experienced bringing a real urgency and vitality to my painting thus releasing an energy I did not know I had.
I enjoy several approaches to my art depending on my mood. From a traditional style, to a semi-abstract “fragmented” style, maybe some impressionist views and even towards abstract styles. I believe art and all its forms should be fun and I try to instill an essence of this into all my tutoring.
I undertake commissions and run painting holidays overseas and residential workshops in the UK. I also teach workshops for all ages from my purpose-built studio, give demonstrations, workshops and talks. I teach local art groups on a variety of topics and in any media although I do still favour pastels at present.
I am a Professional Advisor for the Society for All Artists, a Director of The Foundation of Essex Arts, currently Chair and a Member and Treasurer of the Brentwood Art Society. Further details and examples of my work can be found on my web site at www.harwoodart.co.uk