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Howard Shimmin

During a life time of tramping the Manx countryside I became more than familiar with the ever changing colours and tones in the landscape. This gave me a constant kaleidoscope of colour at different seasons and day and night.

Born and bred on the Island  I suppose I absorbed the  work of Knox, Sayle , Nicholson, Hoggert, Byrne, Corkish, James etc etc, by observation, and from that grew a lifelong love of drawing and painting but it was not until retirement beckoned that I found the time took to indulge in and enjoy painting.

“Self-taught” is a misused phrase because I have enjoyed and benefited from the tutelage of a number of talented artists here on the Island and I also continue to enjoy the privilege of attending short courses in Yorkshire under the eyes of nationally recognized artists .

I now rarely paint completed work “en plein air” and I now start from reference to  colour sketches made on site, photographs or purely from my very faulty memory to capture an essence that pleases. When struggling for a starting point I will sometimes just splash, dribble, or brush, random colour onto the very intimidating white blank surface and  look for a shape that inspires me to search out the next move.

I especially enjoy playing with colour and the effect that one colour has when placed alongside another. That may be as simple as a small touch of red in a large area of green which makes the green sing. I will, on occasion, change the expected natural colours. For example; where one expects a green grass field and orange bracken I will take out the yellow element and thus the grass becomes blue and the bracken becomes red, producing a far more interesting composition.

To my eye at least !