Malcolm Cudmore UKCPS
Although ‘art’ was always my best subject at school, I actually trained (and developed a career) in performing arts and entertainment and lived and worked all over the UK before settling in Stafford in the 1980s. I returned seriously to art about 10 years ago. Starting with evening classes, I followed by enrolling for a part-time Art Foundation course at Stafford College and continued with a full-time Fine Art HND. I was asked to stay on at the college as the resident Fine Art Practitioner and then became a sessional tutor there while continuing to work as a freelance entertainer. In 2007, we moved from the Midlands to the Fylde coast in Lancashire in order that my wife could return to University to study for a degree in Ceramics. Since this move, I have concentrated on developing my work as a professional artist – exhibiting and selling my work where possible.
Observational drawing has always been important to me and underpins all my work. I draw and paint from life where possible and consider accurate drawing to be fundamental. During my HND, I started experimenting with CP on alternative surfaces and continue to create large CP works on wooden panels that have been given several coats of white gesso and sanded to a very smooth, hard finish. Working in a loose ‘scribbling’ motion, I build up a depth of tone with layers of light colour which allow some of the white surface to reflect light through the marks. These pieces are very time consuming and it is impractical to work them from life. Therefore, they are made in the studio from my own photographs which I compose specifically for the purpose. From a reasonable viewing distance, the work retains a realist, photographic quality. However, seen at close quarters they have a looser, more abstract quality which I find equally interesting.
Although I’m principally interested in portraiture and narrative work, I attend life drawing groups (where I mostly work in Conte and Derwent pastel pencils) and also paint ‘plein-air’ landscapes and portraits in oils.