Featured artist

Alison Bull

Dip.FPAA

In 1964, I moved from Wimbledon to Welton, a tiny village in Northamptonshire, as my Father had to relocate with his job. I went to Daventry Secondary Modern and then on to the Grammar school for a year before returning to London to train at the New Cross School for Dental Auxiliaries.

After graduating I returned to Northampton and secured a job with Northamptonshire County Council, working in the clinic in Guildhall Road, where I 'drilled and filled' children’s teeth. Although looking back I really can't understand why I turned down the opportunity to escape the English weather and take up a job offer in the dental clinic in Barbados, where two of my contemporaries still reside! My artistic talent at the time was only used to make posters for the surgery trying to educate the children in mouth hygiene!

After marrying in 1972 and then moving to Wellingborough, where I later had two children, we moved back to Weston Favell in Northampton, where we built the first of our next three homes. After 25 years of raising children, homemaking, moving, planning and building houses and gardens from scratch, the final garden (by now we were living in Boughton) was finished and flourishing, an Adult Education booklet came through the door and I decided it was now time for me to try my hand at painting again. I joined a watercolour course and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of laying a wash.

The tutor also taught pastels, which I later tried and after getting to grips with the fact that they make your hands so dirty I completed a painting that I was finally pleased with, enough to get framed up!

I joined Networkarts around 2003 so that I could have a regular workshop once a month, meet other artists and the chance to exhibit with them rather than just looking at other artists work. That was where I first met Belinda and we ‘clicked’ straight away.

Another Adult Education course started with Keith Hill at Grendon, this time using oils after having been given some 'free' oils on a weekend course with Brian Ryder in Norfolk. Quite a different media to get to grips with but I love its versatility now!

In 2008 I was encouraged by an artist friend to send work into the annual open exhibition of Town & County ('It’s OK for him, he’s got boots on!') where to my delight it was accepted and later sold. I was made an associate member in 2009 and a couple of years later made up to a full member.

When my life changed direction, and in 2012 I left Boughton and moved to Broughton near Kettering. I joined the Kettering & District Art Society and Belinda suggested I join the FPAA, where I have enjoyed the life drawing sessions at the shed. They have been so missed during this strange year.

Hopefully we will be able to resume very soon as I really enjoy the challenge of painting a portrait within a constricted time frame with, some very inspirational models.

When we went into the first lockdown I tried to keep painting and took a few on line workshops but sadly my enthusiasm waned and gardening chores took over, but hopefully with Spring just around the corner, inspiration will encourage me to get out the paints again.

I was invited to fill the Long Gallery at the Alfred East in 2014 with paintings from my collection. I found 30 which I felt showed my versatility of media and style which Katie and her team hung. In 2018 Belinda, Gill and I exhibited in the Large Gallery for our very successful Journey into Light exhibition.

Over the years I have been very fortunate to go on many courses and painting holidays with artists I admire. Unfortunately all the four courses I had booked last year were cancelled due to Covid, but I have two booked in for later this year. Fingers crossed they will go ahead!


 

It's OK for him, he's got his boots on!
Oil

Perry's White
Watercolour

 
 

Sunday Afternoon
Oil

 
 

Snuggling down all warm and cosy
Pastel

Santa Maria Nocturn
Pastel

Red Neckerchief
Pastel

 
 

Rainclouds over Thornham
Pastel

 

 

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