COLIN HALLIDAY: Plein-air painter

How long have you been painting?

I started painting seriously when I was 21.

What about painting gives you joy?

The challenge, the joy when you produce something you can’t take your eyes off. The sheer beauty of a handmade object full of expression. Finding and exploring new techniques and making them your own.

Great British Life: Stanage Edge Photo: Colin HallidayStanage Edge Photo: Colin Halliday

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

I love it all but the weather plays a big part in where I go to paint. Blue sky days with no clouds means rivers and woodland, stormy sky days means heading out to the hills at places such as Stanage Edge, with its dramatic skies. I also like little streams and classic English countryside that could be anywhere - it makes it more about nature, not the place.

Great British Life: Colin painting near Calver Photo: Colin HallidayColin painting near Calver Photo: Colin Halliday

Do you have a favourite method?

I have several working styles. Working en-plein air, I like to use lots of pure oil paint and apply with palette knives. When being more experimental in the studio I might use inks and acrylics, or mixed media, it depends on the subject matter. There’s no favourite, I like keeping engaged so if something is getting too easy or formulaic I know it’s time to try a different subject or style - keeping engaged is the key.

Which painting to date are you most proud of?

Oh gosh it doesn’t work like that for me, I don’t always know if something is good until I get distance from it so I can be objective. Also, after nearly 40 years painting, there are different reasons for preferring something. It’s like a diary - you can be taken back to where you were and things going on in your life at that time, so I have lots a favourites. Keep moving keep growing is my philosophy.

Great British Life: Freesias Photo: Colin HallidayFreesias Photo: Colin Halliday