Award winning wildlife artist, Paul Holmes, organiser of the 15-strong Artists’ Collective Exhibition currently running at the Granary Art Gallery, Weston Park, is flying solo in a one-person exhibition at the Festival Drayton Centre.
The Art Gallery at the Festival Drayton Centre, Market Drayton has, since its launch in December 2004, become extremely popular with artists and photographers and viewings are free to the general public.
Though Paul is not only a working artist. He also tutors in his now favourite medium of pastels almost exclusively at Higham Hallin the Lake District.
“I would say I’m naturally a shy person,” Paul said. “But I like to share my knowledge; artists were willing to share their knowledge with me, so it is only right that I do the same. What I produce will be very different to anyone else and it’s always very exciting to see the results of my teaching. The important thing is to learn and to keep learning.”
Originally from Uttoxeter and now living in Stafford, Paul’s knowledge of the many mediums in which he has worked has been built up over the years. He left school at the age of 16 due to family circumstances and was unable to attend art school as he had wanted. But the creative gene, he says, comes from his father.
“He wasn’t a painter,” Paul said. “But he decorated beautiful celebration cakes. Creativity manifests itself in many forms."
Paul also grew up with a love of animals which is reflected in the Drayton Centre exhibition along with his second love of landscapes, and which has brought him awards from the international Association of Animal Artists and the SAA (Support for All Artists).
A household of dogs from when he was a youngster has given him empathy for them and he is often to be found, he says, at dog shows, snapping away at possible subjects.
When he’s not painting, Paul’s reading tastes are as diverse as his painting mediums, from Terry Pratchett to Tolkien, to Thomas Hardy and, though he no longer pursues this hobby, he was once the Archery County Champion for Staffordshire. His interests now, point decidedly towards the canvas.
Paul’s exhibition at the Festival Drayton Centre runs October 18 to November 20. Entrance is free. All work is for sale.
For more information, visit Festival Drayton Centre - Market Drayton or visit Paul’s Instagram @pauls_pets.
The Artists’ Collective Exhibition runs October 1-28 at the Granary Art Gallery, Weston Park.