Tim Watson - a man of many talents

Tim Watson and his beloved Welsh mountains

Tim Watson and his beloved Welsh mountains - Credit: Archant

Artist and poet Tim Watson was born in Solihull in 1964. His mother was from Prestatyn and his father from Lincolnshire. He trained at art college in Wrexham and at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and had a varied career before buying The Kinmel Arms with his wife, Lynn. He opened a studio and permanent gallery space in the restaurant and bar in 2015. It is here visitors can discover his work, which has been inspired by his beloved Welsh landscape.

Tim Watson

Tim Watson - Credit: Archant

What came first, being an artist or being a poet?

Probably an artist because I’ve always drawn. As a child I was interested in insects, birds and other creatures and sketching those. My dad was in the RAF and I went to 11 schools and I do remember writing a poem and winning something for that - and since then I’ve been writing as well.


Can you describe in your own words your ‘journey’ as an artist?

When I left school I went to Wrexham College of Art for my foundation year and then on to do my degree in Fine Art at Newcastle-upon-Tyne which was quite wonderful really. My journey as an artist is one of self-discovery, finding changing ways to express what I really love - and that is mountains and the outdoors. Most of my landscapes are of the mountains in Wales. I was a climber for 25 years and climbed all over the Alps. Then when I was 45 I stopped climbing and now I go running. I love running on the mountains and standing on the rock at the top where I feel a complete connection to the earth. That’s what I love about the landscape.

You are married to Lynn? Do you have any children?

CHE Jul16 Tim Watson

CHE Jul16 Tim Watson - Credit: Archant

I’ve been marred to Lynn for 26 years and I have one son, Tom who is 21 and in the Royal Navy. Lynn is my inspiration. We met in 1988 and married in 1990. I left college with a fine art degree and it was either embark on a life being an artist or get into the real world, so I ended up selling cars for a living!

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Has owning The Kinmel Arms given you more freedom as an artist?

Absolutely not. At the beginning when we bought it I was a primary school teacher and Lynn worked for News International but we wanted something we could do together. We love food and love the hospitality side but it becomes all-encompassing. So when I reached the age of 50, two years ago, I decided to set up a studio. This means that half The Kinmel Arms is a restaurant and the other half we turned into my art studio. I still work in the restaurant, deal with the wine orders and the public but now it’s a balance between the work and being creative.

Tim Watson

Tim Watson - Credit: Archant

What inspires you?

Three things really inspire me: beauty, truth and physical endeavour. These inspire me every day.

What is it about Wales that you love so much?

It’s the land of my mother’s family and for me Wales is home. I have been to many other places in the world but I have always come back to where I am from.

Would you describe yourself as a spiritual artist?

Not in a religious sense at all but when I am outside and sitting on a mountainside, that’s spiritual for me.

How do you work? Can you describe your day?

I am up at 6’0 clock and sometimes earlier running on my own. There is a running club I belong to in Llanberis too but I enjoy running alone, then the rest of the day changes. I have a lot of responsibilities at The Kinmel Arms but usually do the work in the morning, then I go sketching although it’s a good thing to have no routine. My art side doesn’t follow a strict routine. I thought it would work like that but it doesn’t!

How does running The Kinmel Arms fit in with what you do?

It does fit in with what I do although it’s a challenge too. Before I got the studio I was working on the kitchen table. Now it’s a totally different experience. I have people popping into the studio from the restaurant as the studio is always open and while I’m not the most sociable person if someone comes in for a chat I love that.

How can I buy a painting?

People come in all the time and buy a painting and a lot come in and ask if I can do a commission - that’s how they buy really. Prices can start at around £80 and go up to £500. As an artist I have no illusions. You’re doing it because you just love doing it, not to get rich. And it does make The Kinmel Arms an interesting place to visit.

The Studio at The Kinmel Arms, The Village, St George, Abergele, Conwy LL22 9BP www.watzat.com