Graham Sendall has lived in Sussex for most of his life and has gathered his inspiration from many of the views in the High Weald. He focuses on the architecture of local buildings, with their weatherboarded fronts and hung tiles, and how they sit in the landscape. Graham is a great supporter of Wadhurst Art Show (as seen in the photograph of Graham exhibiting his artwork in 2010) as it supports many local artists in and around the High Weald.
What art techniques/style do you use and why? I only use acrylic paints which are water based. Like oil paint you can apply the paint thickly and thinly, the main difference between these two mediums is that acrylics dry very quickly. I use acrylics because of that reason (sometimes I use a hair dryer to speed it up) as my technique involves building up layers of different colours by stippling the paint. With this method I can produce an intensity of colour and texture. I paint onto MDF board with lots of large children's brushes that I buy from Paperchase, they're ideal for me as they're cheap and take a lot of punishment which is great as I have to be quite heavy handed with my stippling.
How and what about the High Weald landscape and its features or materials inspires you?
I've lived in Sussex most of my life and for the last 18 years in Burwash. The Weald is a wonderful place to live and work, and has provided me with so much inspiration for my paintings. My main interest has always been the local architecture and how it sits in the rolling landscape, from churches and castles to the humblest of cottages.
Is there a special place where you like to do your art?
It's got to be in my studio, in the garden of my home. I work mostly from photographs that I have taken on the many excursions I have made in the countryside near my village. The beauty of painting the locality is that I can visit and revisit it time and time again and photograph it from all angles and different times of the day and in all seasons. From this reference I can work up my composition. I often move elements of the subject around for dramatic effect which give my paintings a quality that observers call stylised-realism.
Art was always my favourite subject at school, at primary school I was always encouraged to use it in imaginative ways in many other subjects as well. History was always good fun for this reason, my exercise book was usually embellished with battle scenes. Unfortunately at secondary school I was in the A stream and sadly art wasn't considered important enough for me to study. However I did study it at art school in my spare time and went on to pass my A level.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Before I was 10, I was convinced I would become a cartoonist, this ambition changed to graphic design a few years later, and I eventually went to art college in Worthing to study it.
How did you become an artist?
Although I studied design at art school I was also taught all the basic principles of drawing from life drawing to perspective. There were no computers in those days so it was vital that I was able to articulate my ideas with my drawing skills. I went on to enjoy a 35 year career in advertising, and along the way still managed to introduce some cartoons into my designs, so you could say I've even fulfilled my earliest ambition! My challenge today since leaving my design job is to use all my years of experience to create my paintings.
What do you like most about being an artist?
I get enormous pleasure from painting, I love exhibiting my work and meeting other artists, but above all it's made me look more closely and so appreciate more fully the wonderful local landscape that we all live in.
What is your artist tip for local children?
My art is called 'representative' that is to say I have produced a recognisable image, it's just the way I get pleasure from my painting, but there's a million other ways other artists could interpret the subjects I paint, the important thing is to EXPERIMENT and have fun!
How did the pictures you have supplied for the website come about?
The Oast Cowls (Salehurst, Nr Robertsbridge)
Oast roundels are such iconic buildings in our area and these were particularly interesting to paint, because of their advanced state of decay. Quite rare to find one now that hasn't been converted to a house.
The Church and the Pyramid (Brightling)
Brightling is favourite location for me. Jack Fuller's pyramid tomb in this churchyard painting introduces a quirky element to an otherwise conventional composition. Sheep in churchyards used to be more usual years ago, so it's great to see Brightling church keeping this tradition alive.