We shine a light on another talented local artist

How long have you been painting?

Off and on all my life. I’m now 68 and became interested at school. I had a good art teacher who encouraged me to do A level and become an art teacher myself. I was also a professional actor and writer before I started painting and exhibiting professionally 20 years ago.

What gives you the most joy?

I have always felt the need to create and found so much pleasure in painting. I enjoy working with a variety of materials and love to explore mark making and how to capture light.

Are there any parts of Derbyshire/Peak District you particularly enjoy painting?

I exhibit all over the UK, however one of my favourite places to paint is the Peak District and near my studio-gallery in Bolsover.

Great British Life: Low Tide Photo: John ConnollyLow Tide Photo: John Connolly

Do you have a favourite method?

I used to work as a traditional water colour artist but over the years learned to experiment with techniques and materials and now almost exclusively work with acrylic paint and inks. I use quite a lot of texture. Sometimes I work on an easel, sometimes on the floor or table. I prefer to work large. My big statement pieces tend to be my best sellers.

Which painting to date are you most proud of and why?

It’s difficult to choose. However, I am particularly proud of my sunrises at Saltwick Bay near Whitby and a recent piece for my exhibition at The Courtney Gallery in Ashbourne, which captures the wonderful colours of the Peak District. I was also pleased with a painting I started as a small sketch when walking my daughter Alice through snowy fields near my Bolsover home. When I got back I just had to put it down on canvas. It’s called ‘I can see the castle dad’.

John’s show, ‘The Four Seasons’, runs from October 7 to 28 at Courtney Gallery in Ashbourne.

Great British Life: I can see the castle dad Photo: John ConnollyI can see the castle dad Photo: John Connolly