Boats at rest on The River Glaven Norfolk 4

Simon Hodges VPPS | Soft Pastel | 18 x 23 inches

“I have been drawing in one form or another since I could pick up a pencil. I also had a chalk board and from time to time I showed my sister’s friends how to draw Disney characters. I was less self-conscious then. By nine I was on the front page of the local paper sketching Gipsy Moth IV as it visited ports around the UK after Francis Chichester’s circumnavigation of the world.
By the time university was a possibility, I was guided by family and friends away from art college and went to The Welsh School of Architecture. I continued to draw both technically and sketched when time allowed. There then followed two decades of professional practice in London, Bath, Frome, Yeovil and Oxford at two practices. At both I worked my way up from project architect to an associate and in one case to Partner and then director. Whilst work was varied; from a mosque to schools and hospitals, drawing became less and less and paperwork and meetings more and more and as computers also began to surpass even the drawing element, I decided enough was enough.

It was 1999 and after veering off on a number of tangents, I got to know a very generous and inspiring gallery owner. My wife and I had bought several paintings from his gallery which he had also framed. So, I gave him two of my charcoals to frame, secretly hoping he would like them. I got a phone call a couple of days later apologising that he had sold one of them and couldn’t get it back and ever since he has had a large number of my paintings passing through his gallery and continues to frame my work. He has introduced me to other gallery owners and constantly reminds me that; ‘you are on a journey my boy.’

On the journey so far, I kept the first ten years on a completely local footing as I continued to think of myself as an architect and not an artist. To begin to change this, I pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone by following up invitations to exhibit in various local galleries, set up one-man exhibitions and finally got up the courage to send work to local open society exhibitions, mainly The RWA and The Bath Society. A mixture of success and failure did not dampen confidence too much but to this day failure does not help with my battles with depression.

I have found that with the two vocations that have drawn me in, it is a constant battle between the enjoyment of working alone and ensuring that I will have achieved the best I can become as an artist. To this end, I decided that I had to push myself at a national level or least discover whether I merited consideration. Since my teens I have always used pencil, watercolour and acrylic (albeit not necessarily of artists’ quality) and so as soon as I heard about the Mall Galleries and the various societies exhibiting there, The Pastel and Watercolour Societies were an immediate draw. The Pastel Society embraced me quickly and at heart I am a drawer who has a determination to be a painter. The next part of the journey had arrived.” Simon


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Availability: In stock