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A master of his genre

Susie Hodge talks to Eric Rimmington about a long career that saw him move from abstraction to detailed still lifes of simple, everyday objects, painted in oils


While still studying at the Slade School of Art in London during the 1940s when he was in his 20s, Eric Rimmington was commissioned to paint a large mural at the Trafalgar Institute in Portsmouth, his home town. In 1950 he was chosen to exhibit in the Young Contemporaries annual exhibition – David Hockney famously rose to fame when he exhibited in the Young Contemporaries as a student in 1960.

After 30 years of teaching in art schools, Eric became a full-time artist, first producing abstract works that were often constructions made out of driftwood and debris. In the mid-1970s, he took a teaching job in America for a year where, he says: ‘I was taken away from the cushioning and comforts of habit. You could do all sorts of things that were not fashionable in Britain, and what might be thought of here as naiveté could also be seen as a lack of inhibition. On my return I felt the need to produce things that were complete, integral within themselves. The American experience gave me permission to simply look at the room I was in…’

International acclaim

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About The Artist

Water-based media enthusiasts will find huge inspiration and masses of great advice from professional artists Hazel Soan, Jake Winkle, Cheryl Culver, Paul Weaver and Marie Antoniou this month. Hazel explains how to translate tones into watercolour on paper to maximise the effects of light and shade in your paintings; Jake reveals the watercolour techniques he recommends to paint texture and patterns in animals; Cheryl demonstrates a coastal scene in acrylics; Paul urges you to try quick studies in line and wash to keep your en plein air skills in tip top condition while Marie demonstrates how to use tube black to best effect in your acrylic paintings! Learn more from Adele Wagstaff about the structure of the lower limbs and feet to help improve your figure painting, and the colours to use for skin tones for your coloured pencil portraits from Alyona Nicklesen. With more features on pastel painting, detailed still lifes, a new technique to try and oil painting demonstrations from Peter Graham and Bob Brandt, whatever your favourite subject matter or medium you're bound to find loads to inspire you in this month's issue!