Art makes me happy and my intention is to bring happiness to all who see my paintings and drawings. I’ve drawn for as long as I can remember and art has always had a very special place in my life.
Along time ago, aged just 8, I remember sitting down on the warm summer grass to draw my school. I was completely absorbed for 2 hours. I didn’t win the competition and my drawing wasn’t much good, but In my intense concentration, I had been taken into a different world with a different language and I had glimpsed how interesting and special it was.
At Senior School I had a wonderful inspirational art teacher called Robin Child (father of Charlie and Lola author Lauren Child) Whose knowledge and insight into Cezanne and the world of the impressionists remains truly inspiring to this day.
I was warned that it would be in advisable to attempt to make a living as a painter. So I applied to Central St Martin’s College of Art to study Product Design but whilst I was there I was never far from the fine art studio and often joined their classes.
I remember being spectacularly short of money, moving Flat each term so I didn’t have to pay for accomodation during the holidays. I had always had a keen interest in the duality of man and much to the surprise of my fellow art students the Army kindly agreed to sponsor me through Art College.
In return, after graduation, I spent 3 years as a young Officer in the Welsh Guards during which my ability to draw was employed during reconnaissance patrols and redesigning the Mess for theatrical parties as well drawing portraits of my fellow officers.
I started painting full time in 2001 and learned by looking more closely at great paintings to gain a detailed insight into the techniques and thinking of great artists. Amongst many things, I marvelled at how Caravaggio united inconsistent light sources in his paintings and how Van Gogh‘s mark making accentuated the emotional power of his drawings which contained crucial planning cues for each of his paintings. There is no more important skill for an artist (or any visually creative thinker) than to be able to draw to express and articulate ideas.
I have also just qualified as an Art teacher, which has given me the opportunity to understand and engage with the whole art community and understand more clearly how many people all of all ages all around us engage with art. It has been surprising to note that drawing skills are no longer a prerequisite amongst teachers or pupils in many schools.
With much experimentation, my work is synonymous with my battle between realism and abstraction. Whilst we can all experience joy and exhilaration at a piece of music, with no idea about the story, it is harder to tune into the harmony and juxtaposition of carefully choreographed brushstrokes although we do respond to colour harmony and drama in a painting. So I always question the purpose of a painting if the meaning is lost to many and this is why I draw the conclusions of my work at different points between reality and abstraction so my clients can choose at what level they most enjoy engaging with my work.
Colour is of central in importance to my work. It is my hope that this universal language makes my work more accessable and will prove a catalyst for long term engagement. The matter of subject is where relevant a narrative for my paintings. I am inspired by Stanley Spencer, Paul Nash, Ivon Hitchens and Howard Hodgkin and as you might expect I am profoundly influenced by Van Gogh and Matisse and other wonderful artist's of the school of Gustav Moreau.
RICHARD ON ART
Artists look and appreciate, they understand, they see and they reflect. Art is about independence of thought and ideas of expression. To see good art around us will enhance our thinking and our appreciation of the wider world. Thinking on a more profound and a more beautiful level is stimulating and engaging once you are keyed in to an artist’s aesthetic language. There is an old saying that if you have forgotten the language of appreciation, then you will never be on speaking terms with happiness.
"A room full of paintings is a room full of thoughts" (Joshua Reynolds). The power of an intensely created work of art can provide a lifetime of pleasure and thoughful contemplation as the secrets of their creation, reveal themselves to those that see. Extraordinarily this will not diminish over time. Generations after artists have died we can still feel the power and intensity of their creativity in their work.
In 2009, Lt Colonel Rupert Thorneloe MBE asked me to paint a series of paintings and make silver sculpture to commemorate the Welsh Guards tour of Afghanistan. The silver sculpture was to feature the signatures of all the officers deployed with the regiment. Catastrophically by the end of a particularly dangerous tour,10 guardsmen and 3 officers had been killed including Lt Colonel Thorneloe himself. The surviving officers felt that it would be more appropriate to have the names of the fallen on the sculpture instead. Lt Colonel Thorneloe had requested a Pashtun warrior to be sculpted and a respected veteran of the Afghan National Army was chosen. I thught I might mount it on a stone from Afghanistan and a suitable specimen was collected from beside the Helmand River. Several years later, long after the sculpture had been delivered, a serving officer met the Afghan veteran by chance and showed him a photograph of the sculpture. The hardened veteran of a lifetime of war in Afghanistan said nothing as the tears rolled down his cheeks.
2001-2017 - Owner - Richard Bostock Fine Art
– an art business specialising in commissions and copies of old master paintings. I have painted Picasso copies for Christie’s and plaster panels in the Café Royal. My subject knowledge and fine art skills are strengths which have been honed over 15 years of running my own art business. I have taught artists and students privately during this time.
2016 – Private tutor
- I taught 4 pupils between the ages of 8 and 14 to draw and paint, including an art scholar. The quality of their artwork played an important part in my gaining a place at Staffordshire University and encouraged me to believe that I could make a real difference to children’s art education.
1998–2000 - Marketing Manager – Tigerprint Limited
– Children’s toys and Puzzles for Marks and Spencer. Heading up a team of 10, I was accountable for a £3 million M&S budget and creating and manufacturing a new range of products every 6 months which demonstrates my creative and managerial capabilities in a pressurized, deadline specific work environment.
1997-1998 - Production Manager – The Manhattan Toy Company (UK) Ltd
– based in Indonesia and China. Employed to inspect production facilities and to successfully tackle a specific production delay in Indonesia. This indicates that I am self-motivated, adaptable, with the confidence to build strong relationships and to achieve results.
1995-1997 – Design Manager – Hunkydory Designs Limited
– Designers of gifts, stationery and toys. Product development including the briefing and co-ordination of artwork between design studios and Disney which demonstrates artistic and design judgement and project management skills.
1991-1995 – Officer – British Army –
2 years in Northern Ireland
– I left the Welsh Guards as a Captain. My greatest achievement was completing a 2 year tour of Northern Ireland before the Good Friday agreement with all my Guardsman safe and well. This demonstrates: discipline, leadership, care and respect for those you wish to follow you in a life-threatening scenario.
1988-1991 – Student – Central St Martins – Graduated in BA(Hons) Industrial Design (Engineering).
Design projects included: a kettle for the elderly, a payphone for Landis and Gyr and a mini site dumper for JCB.
1982-1987 – Pupil – Marlborough College Wiltshire -
Education up to A level.
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