BIOGRAPHIES OF OFFICERS AND COUNCIL MEMBERS

Jackie Devereux PSGFA – President

Jackie describes her life as a creative journey which is sometimes planned, but usually is not. The journey provides food for thought, and the work it generates takes on a life of its own, free from the constraints of reality.

Jackie’s journey began in the sixties with calligraphy, and expanded over the years to include drawing, printmaking, illustration and graphics, alongside painting, exhibiting, teaching and writing. She joined the SGFA more than a decade ago and was subsequently elected to serve on the Council. Having to wear a variety of hats during the last few years has been, and remains, an enjoyable challenge. www.watercolour-online.co.uk/docs/profile.htm

Les Williams VPSGFA – Vice President

Les’s former colleagues at Lloyd’s of London associate him more with a suit and tie than with paints and brushes. But having resisted the urge to don a suit anymore, he still loves to feature the ever-changing landscape of the City in his artwork.

Les trained with the Royal Drawing School and with some of the leading watercolourists around the UK. At the moment he loves working in the medium of pen and wash. Les exhibits regularly, and most recently has participated in exhibitions at the Barbican, Bankside Gallery, Southwark Cathedral and with the SGFA at the Menier Gallery in London. He takes part every year in Norfolk Open Studios, and together with other artists has formed an art trail in his village. Les was elected Vice President of the Society in February 2015. leswilliams.org.uk

Dr Susan E Poole SGFA – Hon. Secretary

Susan has a mixed art and academic background. She gained an MA in Fine Art from Surrey Institute of Art and Design, but spent some years away from practice to research Aegean Art and Archaeology, for which she was awarded her PhD (University College London).

Susan retains an ongoing fascination with animals as subjects, not least because of the versatility they present in terms of form, colour and surface texture; like landscapes whose contours can be meticulously followed.  She has travelled extensively abroad and throughout the UK to make first hand studies. She also makes drawings and watercolours of objects found in her environment that embody particular personal meanings, layers of which might be uncovered like archaeological strata.

Susan was elected a member of the Society in 2013, and made Hon Secretary in 2015. She also belongs to the UK Coloured Pencil Society (elected signatory member 2013), the international Pencil Art Society, and the Association of Animal Artists. She has exhibited widely in national and international exhibitions and won a number of awards over the years, the most recent being third Best in Show with the international open exhibition of the Pencil Art Society in 2013, and Best Work in Show at the SGFA Annual Open Exhibition in 2014. www.susanpoole.co.uk

Harriet Brigdale SGFA

Harriet is an artist, printmaker and teacher.

Drawing is the basis of all of her work. Her parents and a grandmother were all artists, so as a child she was surrounded by paper and pencils, and drew every day.

Harriet studied typography for three years at the London College of Printing. She was also taught printmaking by Peter Baer at Chelsea College of Art, and its beautiful qualities and surprising outcomes play a large part in her work.

Teaching for Harriet is a wonderful, exciting and informative part of her life. She learns about art and its methods with every teaching class: “It’s tiring but amazing!” www.brigdale.com

Lynda Clark SGFA

Since leaving school Lynda has been drawing continuously, starting her artistic career on the drawing board within the advertising industry, progressing to senior visualiser for a major international cosmetics company. She then freelanced as a visualiser, graphic designer and photographic stylist.

During this time Lynda concentrated on watercolour painting, qualifying in 1996 as a tutor in adult education. She now divides her time between teaching drawing and watercolour painting whilst furthering her fine art practice, based on figurative study and innovative techniques.

Charlie Kirkham SGFA

Charlie grew up on a farm in England before studying Fine Art at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel. She returned to England in 2011 and worked in the tattoo industry, which ignited a love of ink drawing. Now in her final year of the Portraiture Diploma at The Heatherley School of Fine Art, Charlie has also worked on large paintings with Open Space UK (My School Playground 2014), Coventry Council (2013) and Rhymes Nursery (2013). Charlie was elected an Associate Member of the Society in May 2013 and joined the Council in 2014. Following her promotion to full membership, Charlie now edits the Society’s blog, The Journalcharliekirkham.com

Vincent Matthews SGFA

Drawing is an important part of Vincent’s life: he was born deaf, and drew before he could speak. Vincent studied at Maidstone College of Art and Croydon College of Art & Design in the late 1970s, pursuing a foundation course followed by studies in interior design (interior architecture). He went on to work in the design studio of Chester Jones Ltd, then for many years he worked for Sibyl Colefax and John Fowler Ltd as a senior designer and associate director, producing bespoke designs by hand on the drawing board in the old-fashioned way.

Vincent rediscovered his passion for fine art in 2003 and pursued a contemporary fine art course at CityLit for two years while working as lead consultant on a major design project. For Vincent the art course was life changing. His studies completed, Vincent left his job to practise art professionally while working part time as a self-employed designer. When a former tutor introduced Vincent to etching during short courses at Camberwell Art College in 2007, he became hooked.

Vincent likes to work from his sketchbooks and from life whenever possible, interpreting what he sees with marks and line. He is inspired by the landscape around Rye, where he lives, and it often features in his finished pictures. Vincent was elected a member of the Society in 2012, and a member of the SGFA Council in 2016. www.vincentmatthewsart.co.uk

Claire Sparkes SGFA

Claire studied a Fine Art BA at the Liverpool John Moores University, and an MA at University for the Creative Arts, Canterbury. She specialises in drawing in graphite, and painting in watercolour or oils. Her work concerns people, and relationships.

Claire has always drawn and painted, and since 1995 she has taught regular art courses in drawing and painting. Her work has also been used for illustration. Claire has exhibited in various solo and group exhibitions in London, other UK cities and abroad. Recent selected exhibitions include the National Open Art Competition, the New English Art Club, the Royal Society of British Artists and the Ruth Borchard Self Portraits. Claire was elected an Associate Member of the Society in May 2013, and since then has exhibited regularly with the SGFA at both the Menier and RK Burt Galleries. Claire was elected to the SGFA Council in 2015. www.clairesparkes.co.uk

Stuart Stanley SGFA

Having left the theatre in 1986, Stuart took up his first love of painting and drawing and also worked as an events designer. Projects have included major productions in Versailles, at The Ritz Hotel in London, the Opera Comique in Paris and the Hoffburg Palace in Vienna. Stuart has held many solo and group exhibitions throughout England, as well as two solo exhibitions in Italy. In 1999 he opened The Studio Art House gallery in Leatherhead with his wife Sue, specialising in modern British and contemporary art.

A love of drawing and sketching in pencil and charcoal, a strong understanding of artistic practice, and a love of the history of art are the foundations upon which Stuart creates his paintings. He works mainly in oil and acrylic, the influence of his theatre background clearly evident in his dramatic paintings full of light, colour, energy and atmosphere. In 2011 Stuart was awarded the prestigious title Baines Surrey Artist of the Year. His work is held in many private and corporate collections in Great Britain and abroad. Stuart was elected to the SGFA Council in 2015. www.stuartstanley.co.uk

Michael Walsh SGFA

Michael is by nature creative. His professional career started out in Corporate Graphics, Exhibition and Interior Design. In 1984 he entered a Benedictine monastery, where he was introduced to bookbinding. Since leaving Quarr Abbey he has continued with painting, drawing, calligraphy and bookbinding, alongside part-time teaching in adult education. He was elected to the SGFA Council in February 2012. www.micalart.co.uk

Clare Williams SFP BA  DipSBA  SGFA

Clare’s botanical interest is life long. Her style has developed over the years, with influences coming from a variety of people and even more places.

Clare grew up in rural North Wales. Her childhood embedded Clare’s interest and love of the sea, mountains, fauna and flora. Clare’s grandmother, with her love of flowers, was an important influence.

Before leaving her homeland at the age of 18, she completed her studies under the influential artist Peter Prendergast. She then went on to complete her undergraduate degree in visual arts at Cheltenham College.

Clare is now married with two children and lives in Kent. In recent years her career in botanical art has moved to the forefront of her life, after having travelled and studied plants in such unique places as Trinidad, the Cayman Islands and Tuscany, although many of her influences actually come from within Kent itself. Many of her weekends are spent strolling through Kew, Lullingstone, Wisley and Hampton Court Castle, considering the shapes and colours of flowers and vegetables.

Clare is influenced by many artists, including Maria Sibylla Merian, Marianne North, Rory McEwen and Rosie Sanders. Clare mainly works in watercolours and graphite, but also adapts easily, and enjoys aspects of printmaking and photography. www.claresbotanicals.co.uk