“From the first daub of paint on a canvas I knew what I really wanted to do with my life was paint”
As a young man wrestling with career choices Des was acutely aware that his creativity needed an outlet if he was to be fulfilled and happy in his life’s work. However, everyone other than his art teacher repeatedly reminded him that there was no money in art and he made the ‘responsible choice’ and found himself walking a path that led him away from anything remotely creative. It is no coincidence that one of his first paintings after he rediscovered art is entitled ‘Lead me home’.
In 2011, having not touched a paintbrush since 1977, Des started art classes with the formidable John Smith and suddenly the world around him started to explode with vivid colours. The creativity that had lain dormant in him for so many years had been reborn.
“Every piece of art I paint has a beginning, middle, and an end.”
The beginning starts with studying and selecting from the reference material he photographed and then sketching and blocking in the dark shades. The middle is what he calls the evolving phase, when he starts to paint what is in the reference material but rearrange, add, and move things around as his creative vision dictates. No painting is an exact replica of the reference material.
The end phase is normally the sky; the stage at which his soul takes flight. For Des, painting the sky brings the creative experience – and the artwork – to completion.
Arum Lillies, Oil
Cattle on the Road, Oil
Apples with Turquoise Vase, Oil