Local artists and neighbours John Rushton and Ann Warren exhibited their art at the Old Fire Station Gallery last week for the first time.
John has painted most of his life, in between working for the Ministry of Defence and other organisations. He studied fine art and illustration at Swindon School of Art and is now a full-time artist. He paints figurative art in oils and acrylics. John comments, “I like to paint people from life as you have an exchange with each other. It’s not just about the painting; you can have a conversation over a cup of tea. I’ve always been interested in the human figure. My paintings look a bit unfinished and have a ghost-like look to them to reflect our mortality.”
Ann paints both still life and figurative with fine details. She splits her time between her houses in London and Henley. She only started oil painting 3 years ago with the Dulwich Art Group and classes moved online in 2020. Ann said, “All my work, like John’s, is ‘figurative’ – this only means it’s not ‘abstract’ and we paint things from real life. Like John, I like painting real people from life – photos usually give you less accurate information plus I enjoy painting ‘portraits’ of everyday things that we often overlook, but that’s still life. There’s a lot to learn and it’s fiendishly difficult, but utterly absorbing and a great consolation during the boredom of the pandemic. I was a bit nervous about joining an exhibition at the Old Fire Station, but the venue is so welcoming, intimate as well as spacious, well-equipped, easy to use and cool in the worst of the heatwave, that we both really enjoyed the week.”
The Mayor, Councillor Michelle Thomas visited the exhibition on Saturday. John said, “I invited the Mayor to come along and it was lovely to meet her. I was very surprised and delighted that she could spare the time to come along on Saturday evening.“
“The event went well and Ann and I are already talking about exhibiting again. I’ve exhibited in various places across Europe but it’s lovely to exhibit in your home town,” added John.