Essex Art Club

President: Prof. Ken Howard, RA, RWS, RWA

Vice President: William Porter

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Fred Elmes

I have been interested in painting since I was a child. I remember tackling a vase of tulips at my aunt's house when I was about seven years old. It necessarily took a subsidiary position when my children were small and I was building my accountancy career.

In the early 1980's I became a mature student and copied the old masters at the National and Tate Galleries, on Thursdays and Fridays each week for three years. I ran before I could walk by starting on Gainsborough's "Two Daughters". (One of them would have been pleased with her likeness!) I must have made progress because my third attempt was a four-foot copy of Ingres's "Madame Moitessier" of which the Assistant keeper at the NG said "That is the finest copy I have ever seen". It now hangs along with nine other 'old masters' in my older son's house in Walthamstow.

About this time I became intensely interested in photography and won several firsts at Leica Exhibitions. I think this sharpened my perception of perspective.

Today I paint in watercolour, gouache, acrylics and oils regularly every week in the company of other enthusiasts, very often from photographs, but always being adventurous with colour and composition. The support, interest and constructive criticism of the group is a constant stimulant.


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