Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Bill Lupton, and my background is in engineering. Following my apprenticeship, I progressed into factory management and remained in managerial roles for over 30 years. During the past 25 years my passion for painting became so strong that in May 2017 I decided to work full time as an artist. Now I spend my time doing classes, workshops, demonstrations, and painting holidays as well as selling my work around the world. I feel privileged to work with other people who have the same desire to be creative.
What subjects inspire your art?
My first painting was a row of old stone cottages in a nearby village, and I painted every brick in fine detail. I continued in that manner for a few years, trying to replicate scenes as they were, either from photographs or on location. I was becoming bored of painting scenes that I felt were not created by me, and often not very atmospheric. However, I remember seeing a photograph of a pretty white cottage in small farm surrounded by colours of summer, and thought of how it might look in the middle of winter in more rugged surroundings. So, I decided to paint it differently: I reduced the size of the cottage, added a stormy sky, and large bare tree, and even a tall grey mountain with steep slopes leading down to the cottage. The scene was almost unrecognisable, and had lots of very dark and very light areas. I was pleased with the result and enjoyed the whole process considerably more than usual, and I believe that’s where my approach changed. So, I suppose my main inspiration must be atmospheric and dramatic landscapes similar to those that can be found in Cumbria, Northumberland, Yorkshire Moors, the Highlands etc..
Where did you first hear about purple and grey and what benefits have they given you?
Purple and Grey emailed me to see if I was interested in running a watercolour painting workshop at Tansley Village Hall near Matlock. I had heard of them before but was too busy establishing my other regular classes, and selling my paintings, to investigate any further. However, we did agree that I would run a workshop in Tansley in April 2018, and I look forward to a long-lasting relationship where we can work together again in the future. Hopefully this will result in benefits for everyone involved.
Have you got your own studio if so describe it to us?
I am fortunate to have a spare bedroom that I use as my studio, it’s just about sufficient for my needs. It is filled with self-assembly shelves and cupboards where I store my materials and equipment, and a white bureau where I rest my painting board when working. Fortunately, it’s next to the bathroom where I can quickly collect my clean water when needed. It isn’t ideal, and I would love a converted barn or something similar to work in, but I feel lucky and grateful to have a room that I can leave set up for painting, and not have to pack everything away each time like I used to.
How often are you able to dedicate your time to your artwork and would you like more time?
Since deciding to turn a passion into my career in May 2017, I am fortunate to be teaching, demonstrating or painting most days. On a Thursday evening I go to my regular art group where I enjoy being Chairman. I also run a regular weekly and fortnightly painting classes around the Nottingham area, and do workshops and demonstrations for a number of art groups and societies throughout the year up and down the country. I suppose I’m fairly busy at the moment, and since becoming an Ambassador for the SAA (formerly known as the Society for All Artists) and for StCuthberts Mill (suppliers of my favourite paper) more enquiries are coming in. If I had to state where I would like to spend more time it would be doing workshops, demonstrations, and classes where I find it immensely satisfying working through a painting with a group of fellow artists or students and seeing the results.