Tom Cringle (EAGMA) was born in Norfolk in 1972. He went to local schools on the North Norfolk coast and spent most of his first 20 years either on the beach, walking on the marshes, swimming or windsurfing in the sea in and around Norfolk and Suffolk.
We sat down with land/seascape artist Tom, to find out how he became an artist, what inspires him and the plans for future artwork. Read his answers below...
1. Was it always your plan to be an artist? (where did you study?)
Not sure if I ever planned to be an artist.
I studied Law, Geography and Art (I ended up marrying a Barrister) and becoming an artist...so studying law seemed to pay off...geography because I love the land. I actually went to Brighton University to study Architecture. Realised 7 years is a long time to so returned to Norfolk and worked as a design/builder. Hands on, drew the plans and ran the site. Art happened as a result of studying Architecture. I found drawing plans dull but I particularly liked drawing artists representations of proposed work...I especially like painting the skies behind the building. So I ended up painting the skies and instead of buildings I would paint the amazing coastal scenes near where we live.
2. What is your artistic process?
My artistic process is simple. LOOK.
Take everything in and remember it. Sketches and photos help but most of it goes in to the mind and is remembered. I am great believer in the 'minds eye'. It's all in there, stored away, but the way to get it in there is to observe. At a school sports day it is great to take the odd photo but more is remembered the more you watch and enjoyed. Painting is about reproducing and introducing the feeling off being there, not just recording what it looked like. When I paint a large picture I tend to think about the view for a long time before I start. Then I just paint.
Obviously painting or sketching outside is different but it is still important to know the scene, have goal and LOOK hard. If you are in 2 minds or not relaxed you might capture what you saw but you won't capture what you experienced; which is what you want others to see and feel when observing your work.
The rest is just the mechanics of application, paint drying, time and patience..
3. Has your worked changed since your early days?
My work has changed since I first practised as a painter, aiming to become professional. But the change is more about confidence and leaning about the mediums I use; and practise!
I love painting large studio based scenes and I also love to sketch (on site) in ink or with felt pen. Some of my early work (which I have kept) has a looseness that I like that is sometimes lost when being too commercial. The more you paint or draw the more confidence you get and the more you know when to stop and leave the picture alone. Conversely some of my early work was too fussy, showing too much detail; I would say that my later work permits the viewing to 'fill the blanks' and let people take what they want from the work with out such obvious direction.
4. Who is your favorite artist and why?
My favourite artist is Edward Seago. He manages to do what I have described above (and what I am very keen to learn to do...)
His paintings are evocative and he captures the weather, the setting and the time in such a beautiful way. His brush strokes look effortless and simple but his work echoes a life time of observation and knowledge; of both his medium and his subject.
Second favourite is Fed Cummings.
5. Through your paintings you have portrayed images of the sea and nature - what inspires you?
The sea. The nature, The sky are my inspirations. I want people to feel that they are there, feel the temperature, the change in weather or the mud and sand under their feet. I want people to feel the space around them and hear the wind or the birds.
6. How could/would this impact on your future artwork?
In the future I would like to develop my smaller work more. In particular I would like to capture the people in the scene and show how people fit in with the nature, their work on the land or coast and capture the life in the scenery of the coast and landscapes and cityscape; both here and abroad.
For more details on Tom Cringle, contact the Hornshaw Gallery:
Telephone: 020 7175 1579 Email: email@example.com