Featured artist

John Bailey


Hi, I am John Bailey and I come from Peterborough. I am married with one son.

I worked at Fisherprint, who are a jobbing printers in Peterborough, for 32 years. Having been made redundant I went to work for W H Smiths - a change from factory life! 16 years later a new manger came...and I left.

So I moved to a garden centre just outside Peterborough, and worked for them for 2 years. I have now retired.

In 1978 I started an evening class at my local regional college, where the art teacher David Holmes was teaching. He had just moved back to Peterborough from Canterbury, where he was head of art. Davidís first two lessons were 'colour circle' and 'perspective'. He also ran a summer life class - and thatís where I started life work.

At the time I was using oil paint, but I got more oil on me, the car...and the house!

The next teacher was Mike Scott. He was also head of art, and lived just down the road from me. He ran a life class from his front room with up to 15 people, plus a model and a cat or dog - so drawing was the only way to work. The class lasted two hours, which could be one long pose, or two poses - or even four short poses sometimes, where the position was more tricky for the model to hold.

Mike also ran an all-day life class on Saturdays, where I tried pastels with their punchy colour - but they did not like me, so pencil it is from now.

I joined another weekly and Sunday class in Spalding at The River Bank Studios, where John Gray and Helen Webber were teachers. I have worked with them for about 19 years, and John has worked hard at developing my pencil and looking skills.

While at Spalding I met Ray Roadknight, who asked if I would like to go another group. Where I asked? He said, "The Shed at Rushden"! So thatís how I met John Black, and found a friendly artist and a great host and teacher.

At some time in all of this I joined the Peterborough Art Society where I soon joined the committee, and became their Chairman - and I still am!

I work mainly in pencil. My first love is life drawing, but I also do landscapes and still life. In lockdown I have just been doing mandalas - which are circle patterns - as everything else is shut. For fun I also do teddy bears in pen and wash. Who knows I might try life in watercolours one day.

I look forward to when we can meet up again. Tll that time - stay safe, do art.




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