Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Jonathan Shepherd and I'm an artist painting mainly in oils and owner of Peakland Arts picture framers in Matlock, Derbyshire.
Why do you do what you do?
I have to be creative, it doesn't feel like a choice but something I have to do and it applies to all aspects of my life whether that's painting or making furniture for our home or designing our garden.
What’s your background?
I started out my working life as a plumber and served my apprentice at this. Whilst I was plumbing my father had started picture framing, mainly to supply the giftshop that my parents had at the time. The bespoke side of the framing business really took off and my father was too busy to cope on his own so asked me if I wanted to join him in the business which i did when i was 20 and continue to run now. My father was also an artist and although i enjoyed drawing and painting it was seeing him selling his paintings which inspired me to take it up more professionally.
How has your practice changed over time?
Initially I used to paint mainly in watercolours and then changed to acrylics after a few years. I used to like acrylics because they dried quickly but now i prefer oils for the opposite reason. I can go back to an oil painting after 24 hours and still manipulate the paint i had put on previously. I paint in several styles from traditional realistic landscapes to abstracts and impressionitic paintings but lately have been producing lowryesque naive paintings. I don't think i could just stick to one style as I enjoy experimenting and like the challenge that different methods present.
What work do you most enjoying doing?
I most enjoy painting Mountain landscapes in a realistic style but i get pleasure out of all my paintings with the exception of a few that never seem to go quite how I want them to no matter how hard i try but I think this is the same for most artists.
What’s your favourite art work?
Anything by Alfred de Breanski but in particular his painting titled "In the Mountains" and more locally I like the work of Rex Preston.
What inspires you?
I suppose nature is my biggest inspiration it provides a never ending supply of subject matter that changes with the seasons and weather. I'm also often inspired by the work of other artists.
What do you dislike about the art world?
I can't be doing with the pretentiousness that you often find in the art world I think some artists sell their work on their or their critic's. verbal description of it rather than the work selling on it's own merit.
What research to you do?
It depends on what i'm painting at the time and how much research it needs most of my lowry style paintings are entirely made up so the only research I do in that case is looking up building styles for the period and trying to find any old photos of industrial street scenes. For anything that i have no reference for the internet is a great source of images and information.
Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
Howard Terpening, Alfred de Breanski and Stephen Lyman.
Thank you Jonathan I will be googling those artists myself!
Catch Jonathan's exhibition throughout October Tuesday to Sunday. read more about him here: http://derbyshireartist.tripod.com/