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Waves of Inspiration

Ferens Art Gallery is currently displaying a painting by Nick Paden (OH 1956-62) in their 2024 Open Art Exhibition
5 Jul 2024
Written by Nick Paden
OH News

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Arts and Culture

I was encouraged from a young age to take an interest in art and painting by my father, a primary Head Teacher, who was an accomplished artist and calligrapher.  I remember regular visits with him to Ferens Art Gallery, way back in the 1950s.  My interest increased and was greatly encouraged when I got to Hymers (1956 -1962), when I came under the tutelage of our Art Master, Mr Thickett (OH Staff 1951-86, Head of Art), who seemed to have enough confidence at the time to put me in, successfully, a year early for my O level Art.

After leaving Hymers, I did entertain ideas of attending Art College but life, as they say, sort of got in the way.  Since those days, I maintained an active interest in art and kept up a little sketching, water colouring and the like.  However, it wasn’t until retirement that I discovered quite late, acrylic paints and more importantly, found the time to really experiment with my paintings and how I wanted to try to express my ideas.

As a long-time surfer of over 40 years, and a sometime sailor, the roots of my artwork are greatly influenced by the interplay of the elements of tides, waves, rocks, and especially skies. I work largely in acrylics and my favourite subjects to paint are at the beaches of our own Yorkshire coast, Northumberland, and the far North of Scotland - places to which I’ve taken both sketchbook and surfboard over many years.  Initially, my paintings were attempts and still are largely, to capture reminders or memories of special days I have enjoyed out in the waves at beaches I know well.  Through my art, I do try to highlight the unique beauty of our coastlines along with their precious nature which, I hope in turn, helps raise awareness of the need to preserve them for posterity from threats to their future from pollution and despoilage.

This year, I am so stoked to get one of my recent paintings chosen for this year’s 2024 Open Art Exhibition at Ferens Art Gallery which runs until 22nd September.  I never thought way back in the 50s one of my pieces would ever be hung on those prestigious walls.

I reckon am also very lucky that a fair few kind folk over recent years seem to like my work and have purchased prints of my paintings!

Nick Paden OH 1956-62

 

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