British painter Keith Proctor talks about his work

Keith Proctor’s work is enchanting and heart moving. His main character, little Jack is a constant inspiration of innocence and the fundamental freedom of being a child. A selection of Proctor’s work is currently on display at Artworx Gallery, Cannock.

Keith Proctor talks about his passion, inspiration and technique, “I have been painting all my life; having had no formal art training, I am a self taught artist. I was first encouraged by my late father Mark Proctor, who was a commercial artist. My father could sketch almost anything very well and quickly; which always fascinated me, and I wanted to be able do it to, so he showed me how.”

“My first paintings (which I still have) were of birds, as I have always had a big interest in Natural History. Aged nine I illustrated a little book of my own that was “copied” from the British book of birds; which was illustrated by my now favourite artist Raymond Harris Ching. I suppose from the day I completed that little book I was hooked!”

Let's Dance by Keith Proctor

Let’s Dance by Keith Proctor

“I am a paint-o-holic; when I am not painting I am thinking about painting. I have a restless energy and am constantly on the go. Painting, drawing or studying for my future paintings usually occupies my time. It’s not so much subject matter, but “actually painting” that inspires me; to be recognized as someone who can paint well is the most important thing to me.”

“I find inspiration for my work all around me all the time, “like most artists” I am constantly observing shape, light and colour. It is the colours in reflected light, and the study of the effects that colours have on each other that interests me most. Other artist’s work I admire and who have inspired me are Raymond Harris Ching and the late Manfred Shatz; as I think they have both painted the effects of light, shade, and colour so well it takes my breath away.”

Soccer Star by Keith Proctor

Soccer Star by Keith Proctor

“I have previously painted most subjects but have recently concentrated on people again. Simple studies of everyday people doing everyday things, the way a person walks or stands, sometimes just the shape of some people fascinates me. I love to watch and paint them. I included my son Jack in a recent painting (Footsteps) and that has led to more and more paintings of him. He “like all young children” is beauty in motion; a totally free spirit without the weight of the world upon him yet. As we grow up life shows on us all, but kids are “truly natural” and that’s what I want to show in the paintings of Jack, a lovely little boy doing little boy things.”

Picked For you by Keith Proctor

Picked For you by Keith Proctor

“My Father told me, never draw a straight line and never draw a whole line, always break them up when you sketch, and change the weight applied to the pencil to make your marks interesting. What great advice this was! I still sketch this way today, as it is very important to be able to sketch with ease.”

“I paint in oils, in daylight only. I start with a charcoal sketch; concentrating mainly on balance and composition before I begin painting. I always work with a very large mirror behind me and keep on glancing over my shoulder to check things out from a different angle. I work very quickly indeed and rapidly apply the paint. I use a ‘strictly‘ limited palette and mix with care before painting. It is bold, fast, confident brush work that makes things work for me, as once I slow down and start picking at the work I know it is finished. Its on these occasions, that I can hear my Father shouting ‘Leave it alone.‘ ”

Especially For You by Keith Proctor

Especially For You by Keith Proctor

For more information about Keith Proctor and his work visit:

Keith Proctor at Artworx Gallery

Alternatively please ring 01543 502971 or email
Artworx Gallery, Cedars Business Park, Avon Road, Cannock, Staffordshire WS11 1QJ.

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