I was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1955 and lived all over the UK before settling in Devon. My career started in corporate finance before I spent 20 years as a business psychologist, working mainly in the creative sector.
I was lucky enough to have travelled to some remote parts of the world and to have experienced other cultures and seen amazing art and archaeology. Having seen such beautiful and interesting places I felt compelled to capture some of the scenes in paint – some successfully, others less so. I was, and am, drawn to colour and design and tried to incorporate those elements into my paintings.
In 2014 I started the long process of learning how to paint properly in oils and I’ve since studied under some amazingly talented international artists such as David Grey, Cesar Santos, Danny Ferland, Louis Smith, Tina Garrett and Teresa Oaxaca. In early 2020 I made the decision to commit herself solely to my fine art practice with a strong focus on realist portraiture. Having an inquisitive nature and a scientific background I was keen to understand the “science” behind painting. Because of this need to “understand” the practicalities of painting I have spent the last five years reading and studying with these top artists and as a result I’ve gained a lot of knowledge. Reading books such as “Traditional Oil Painting” by Virgil Elliott taught me a lot of the basics and I learnt about intangibles from books by artists like Richard Schmid. Learning is a never ending, but rewarding exercise.
My favourite artists include Bouguereau, Sargent, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Degas, Sorolla, and Monet but as each month goes by I discover another favourite! One of my favourite pastimes is visiting art galleries and museums so that I can study the old masters. Mind you, I love to visit high street art galleries as well.
My focus now is very much on portraiture. I try to find interesting subjects; people with interesting faces which I try to capture in a realist, representational style. You can see some of my latest work and some work in progress shots on Instagram (allisonedwards7595). I can’t publish all my portraits as some are private commissions but at least you can get a feel for my style etc.
Examples of my work
I am intrigued by faces and try to paint as many as I can and as often as I can. Here are a selection of paintings that I enjoyed creating and that show a range of styles. My goal is to try and find that special “something” that means you recognise that person in the painting. Unsurprisingly for me it is the eyes, closely followed by the mouth and nose that helps identify who we are looking at and what mood they are in. What is your preferred style? Who would you like me to paint for you – write and tell me why. Her are a few examples of the many portraits that I have created over the years.
It was such a pleasure to be able to ask practicing artists questions, probe their methodology and just watch them paint! One of the most important lessons I learnt was that I needed to practice what they had taught me. I learnt to stop worrying about what I did or did not know: instead I needed to “Just Do It!”. As aspiring artists we all need to paint or draw as often as they can.
What do you like to paint, what is your passion, what are the areas that you would like to improve? One of my goals is to help aspiring artists gain confidence in their drawing and painting and to pass on some of the knowledge that I have gained from other painters and tutors. I love to teach either on a one-to-one basis or in workshops. I can do this in person or online using Zoom or Skype. I recently completed the following online workshops: portraiture basics and value basics. Contact me for further details. My workshops combine some theory and lots of practice and I love answering questions!
I started painting with oil in in 2014 and made this self portrait in 2018. If I can learn to paint like this in 4 years then so can you! It was fun to paint and my friends and family say that it really looks like me.
I believe that you should never stop learning so I am constantly pushing myself. I recently completed another self portrait in 2020 with various graphite pencils, plus white chalk on coloured paper; just to test myself and to assess whether I had learnt something new. Do you like it? I think that the portraits look very different because of the mediums used but that they both have an “essence of me”.
During the Covid-19 lockdown I was able to dedicate myself to even more painting opportunities than normal. I recently completed this self portrait in oils which was well received by collectors and fellow artists.
I’m currently collaborating with Richard Terry in organising life drawing workshops and workshops for special occasions (celebrations, birthdays engagements. You will be pleasantly surprised at the quality of work produced in our workshops which can be tutored or not to suit you. Richard is an amazing male life model who can create dynamic and dramatic poses or simple relaxed ones depending on the skills and the mood of the group. Our goal is to meet monthly at the Paignton Club, Paignton. Let us know what you would like us to organise and we will do our best to accommodate you.
I have included a few non-portrait paintings in my shop but if you don’t see anything you like than tell me what you are looking for and I will do my best to create it for you.
Whenever I can I try to incorporate new knowledge and experiences into my paintings. My blogs try to summarise what I have learnt. It’s my honest belief that I will never cease learning and neither will you! Furthermore I also learn as much from my students as they do from me. Yes – I regularly blog but not too often (I promise) and run online auctions in order to sell my paintings. If you sign up for my blog I will send you a free summary of “How to kick start your oil painting adventure”. I will also let you know when the next auction is due to happen.
Remember if you can’t see what you want just email or phone me and I will do my best to help you. (See contact page for details)
My paintings have been shown at the following venues and exhibitions:
2018 Lechlade Art Society annual exhibition, Oxfordshire (Won people’s choice prize)
2019 Patchings annual juried art exhibition, Nottinghamshire
2021 Powderham Castle summer exhibition, Devon
2021 Devon Open Studios
2021 Victoria Gallery annual juried art exhibition, Bath, Avon and Somerset
2021 Artizan juried winter exhibition, Torquay, Devon
2021 Teignmouth Winter Exhibition, Devon
2021 King Lear Competition – shortlisted for Brixham Lighthouse
2022 Torbay Guild of Artists Exhibition, Devon
2022 Devon Artists Collective Exhibition Kingswear, Devon
2022 Artizan juried winter exhibition, Torquay, Devon