Artist Insight: David ‘DJ’ Johnson ~ extreme landscape painter

DJ on Snowdon

Ahead of DJ’s Art Talk on Saturday 16th November, we thought you’d like to know a little more about this artist and what motivates him to climb to such heights in order to paint!

How did your journey into painting begin?

I have been painting as long as I can remember. As a small child I would copy a whole page from a comic and then turn over and copy the entire next page! I really enjoyed drawing faces, beings and creatures from my imagination too. I can clearly remember getting my first set of oil paints with a ‘paint by numbers’ windmill in a landscape set and being fascinated by the liquid colours and the smell of oil paint.

DJ teaching Winter Mountain landscapes at Pegasus Art

Were you formally trained or self taught and do you think it matters?

I am mostly self taught, but I did do A-level at Codsall High and was fortunate to be taught by Mr Irwin Bottomly who was a massive inspiration to me, and really did lay the foundations for my artistic career for which I am forever grateful. I went on to do Foundation Art at Stafford Art College which was great fun but I didn’t continue further into the education system. I spent a few years working in professional fine art studios producing artwork for hotels, restaurants and commercial spaces and private estates worldwide. This was a huge education as I had to work to a brief in many different styles and reproduce famous paintings! In 2006 I officially went self employed as a freelance artist and started to teach my own classes. I was approached by the chairman of a local art club about teaching a class – I expressed my concerns about having no teaching qualification, but he replied telling me I was obviously an accomplished artist and good communicator, so I went for it! Now I teach two regular local classes, teach in arts centres across the UK, do painting demonstrations, lead holidays and run workshops across the UK and Europe.

What is the fascination with extreme en plein air?

Being outside in nature is a huge source of inspiration for me, adnif you are patient and look with the right kind of eyes, there is so much to see. When you paint outside it is easier to experience true colours, light and tonal values in the landscape. I capture the values in oil paint and take photographs that I can work from later on. Back in my studio I will use the oil sketch as a reference for colour and light and the photo will help me with composition and perspective, helping me to produce a larger painting. I find when I’m outside I can get ‘in the zone’ and become totally focused.

It was a friend who suggested that I was an ‘extreme en plein air’ painter because I was climbing high up into the mountains to paint. Mountaineering and rock climbing have been a lifelong passion for me, so combining the two was a natural progression. My experience of climbing helps me to stay safe in the extreme conditions while I am trying to capture the landscape onto canvas from lofty viewpoints!

What kind of kit do you take with you?

I carry all my own equipment which includes a pochade box full of paints, brushes and boards, a tripod, camera, rags and brush washers. When I’m in the mountains in Winter I will also have a rucksack full of ‘winter kit’ including crampons and an ice axe. It can sometimes take two hours to climb to a painting spot so I have to be prepared.

If you have no experience of mountaineering, I would advise getting out there and walking in the mountains before you paint them. This will give you more respect for the environment. Winter mountaineering is a different ball game and doing a winter skills course would be essential to stay safe. There are lots of spots where you can go just a short walk from your car and set up an easel without having to trek for hours.

Have you ever found yourself in a tricky situation?

I was once painting high up on Crib Goch which is a knife edge ridge in the Snowdon Horseshoe. I had found a great place to paint around 900 above sea level and had been happily slapping paint down for about two hours. As the sun went down behind Snowdon I could hear the wind howling up the valley from Llanberis which then began to lift my easel and the boulder which it was tied to! Instantly I knew that I had to get down quickly and was packed up and ready to descend in a matter of minutes. I scrambled down the end of Crib Goch to the col and then decided to take the quick route down to the miners path below by sliding on my side int eh show using my ice axe to control the descent. My pochade box was bouncing and rattling around in the snow on my way down, so I was very pleased to see that my box and painting were miraculously unaffected when I reached the path below!

What are the golden safety rules?

If you are new to this – go with someone who has experience.

Correct clothing and equipment is vital plus a map, compass and phone. Plenty of liquids and high energy food because when you are standing still in the cold, your body is using up a lot of energy to keep warm. Buttered malt toast with a cup of tea is one of my winter favourites.

DJ on ‘Dream of White Horses’

Do you teach plein air painting?

I love teaching plein air – especially to beginners, because it’s such a wonderful experience. I recently taught a course at Pegasus Art and we walked along the Stroudwater canal just behind their mill building. We had the most tremendous day in the sunshine, enjoying the wildlife and Cotswold scenes.

I have yet to find anyone willing to join me on an extreme plein air adventure high up in the mountains! I have taught painting courses at an international art academy high up in the forested mountains of Bavaria where there was an emphasis on plein air painting and those have been really amazing experiences. When you are surrounded by breathtaking scenery on your doorstep, you cannot help but be inspired and motivated.

DJ and his painting group on the Stroudwater canal

If someone wants to buy your work, where can they see it?

The best way to see my work is on my website. I also post new work on my social media sites – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I do exhibit whenever I can, and not just in galleries, as I believe it’s important to get your work out into the public eye in any way that you can. I sell originals, limited edition giclee prints and am available for commissions including portraits. I am a working artist and always looking for new opportunities. You can email me anytime at

Do you plan ahead and set yourself goals?

I am constantly setting myself goals because this helps me to push myself into areas out of my comfort zone. I tend to do one painting I’m comfortable with, and then one to challenge me as this keeps me fresh and teaches me new ways to paint which I can share with people.

Cadair Idris by David DJ Johnson

Forthcoming Workshops and an Art Talk at Pegasus Art

Saturday 28th September – Autumnal Woodland Textures

10am – 4pm £60 Book online by clicking the link above

If you love the colours of Autumn and Autumnal landscapes, this is the workshop for you! DJ will help you capture the essence of this season, and help you work out what to do with ‘all that green’, textures and techniques. Choose from oil or acrylics, whichever you prefer.

Saturday 26th October – Paint the Aurora in oils

10am – 4pm £60 Book online

DJ has spent much time painting the aurora borealis and will teach you how to achieve amazing effects in a few simple steps. It’s easier than it looks! Explore blending, dragging, light and colour. You will be amazed at the results.

Saturday 16th November – Sunlight & Seascapes

10am – 4pm £60 Book online

**Only 4 places left** Paint the reflective sea and sunshine to produce a finished seascape. Follow his easy step by step guidance to create a work you can be proud of!

Art Talk: Extreme en plein air

An Illustrated talk with DJ Johnson. Demo, Talk and Q&A

Saturday 16th November

5 – 7pm £8 Tickets available online

Come and join the Pegasus team and DJ Johnson for a fun and relaxed evening listening to the artist regaling us with adventure stories, frozen oil paints, fingers and toes and the Beast from the East. There will be tales! Not only that, he will demonstrate some painting techniques and take your questions. Enjoy a glass of fizz and bring your friends along!

What is it about watercolour?

Written by Sarah Edmonds for The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition website, June 2019.

Schmincke Aquarell watercolour set

This year we are proud to sponsor The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition with a £500 Young Artist Pegasus Prize for entries submitted by artists under the age of thirty. For more information click here.

To accompany our sponsorship, The Sunday Times have kindly published a potted history of watercolour on their blog….

Watercolour is by far our best-selling product at Pegasus Art.

What is it about this medium and why do people love it so much? In my search to answer this question, I ask a few of our worthy watercolourist customers for their view. The response is immediate and conclusive; it’s the transparency and beautiful pigments that really get people hooked. The fact that minimal equipment is required is another key factor.

Watercolour is often the entry point for people who are new to painting, and yet it is one of the most demanding mediums to master, neatly illustrated by artist Claudia Araceli, “My students tell me that they chose watercolour because they see it as the least complicated and messy – add water and paper and you’re done. The reality is, it’s the most challenging of all the mediums. Learning watercolour is a long apprenticeship, it can be frustrating, but once hooked you will love it forever. Personally, I feel watercolour is at its best when you allow it some freedom to do what it wants to do naturally, by contrast it’s at it’s very worst when forced to behave. I have found that harnessing watercolour is a matter of learning and understanding how to walk a fine line between both.”

Winsor & Newton watercolour sets dating back to 1940’s

Watercolour painting is as old as the hills, dating back to ancient times and present in cultures from every corner of the globe. In the West, European artists illuminated manuscripts and maps, then studies of nature, botanical illustration and Renaissance portrait miniatures before fine art exploded onto the amateur hobbyist scene and spawned the ‘Golden Age of watercolour’ from the mid eighteenth to mid nineteenth century. Up to that point, painting had only been considered a career for trained professionals, but by the mid eighteenth-century artists were regularly painting outdoors and watercolours provided the ideal medium, able to capture the changing seasons, light and weather and only requiring limited, easily portable equipment. Among the aristocratic classes, watercolour painting was considered an important adornment of a ‘proper’ education and in more practical arenas it was used as a descriptive tool – engineers, military men and architects used it to render depictions of their lofty ambitions.

Artist Sarah Wimperis agrees, “Watercolour is very portable, minimal equipment needed, but most of all, it is the surprise accidents and depth of colour achieved by layering washes that makes it such a delight to use.”

Vintage Winsor & Newton watercolour case

En plein air carrying cases, or pochades, are described as early as 1731 as ‘constructed of mahogany, and fitted with brass hardware and embossed-leather linings, providing porcelain mixing pans, wash bowls, storage tins for chalks or charcoal, trays for brushes and porte-crayons, scrapers, blocks of ink and colours.” This description doesn’t sound all that portable, and a less expensive alternative was required to meet the demands of the increasing number of amateur painters.

William Reeves, an 18th century colourman, was awarded the Silver Palette of the Society of Arts for his invention of the ‘paint cake’ in 1781. These small, hard cakes of soluble watercolour were revolutionary. By the 1830’s artists could buy watercolours in porcelain pans, before further advancements in 1842 produced the first watercolours in collapsible metal tubes, thanks to Winsor & Newton. Their machine ground pigments produced consistently high quality pigments which set an international standard and they were granted a Royal Warrant in 1841. Before long, artists could liberally wash their paper with vivid colours never used before in this way – early critics were proved very wrong indeed!

William Winsor and Henry Newton were already working alongside some of London’s well known colour-men who procured rare pigments from across the globe and congregated in the artists quarter around Rathbone Place, central London. Indeed Constable, a neighbour, was one of their early customers. Not all colour-men were as scrupulous as Winsor & Newton however and would sell unstable mixes that would discolour or react unfavourably with other pigments.  New compounds that were suddenly affordable, such as cerulean, chrome orange and cadmium yellow minimised time spent grinding and mixing with a pestle and mortar in the studio! The pocket sized ‘Shilling Colour Box’ – a lightweight japanned tin with pan colours and mixing palettes became a Victorian best seller, selling more than eleven million units between 1853 and 1870. The dye was cast and watercolour has remained fashionable ever since.

A Victorian Shilling Color Box

“Watercolour is a tricky balance between planning and going with the flow, literally. It can surprise and thrill you as it moves and dries across the surface. That is why I love it.” Catherine MacDiarmid, Sky Portrait of the Year finalist 2019 and watercolour portrait artist.

Space Pariah ~ a watercolour portrait by Catherine MacDiarmid

These days, you can expect to buy high quality watercolours in pans, tubes and sets from any decent art shop. One of our most highly respected suppliers is German manufacturer, Schmincke Finest Artist Paints, who have been producing highly pigmented watercolours in Dusseldorf since 1881. Capitalising on the Golden Age of Watercolour, Hermann Schmincke and Josef Horadam, two colourmen-chemists, took eleven years to research, develop and improve their watercolour range to rival that of their English counterparts. In 1892 they received a Prussian patent for their Horadam Patent-Aquarellfarben. Their Horadam Aquarell range is their flagship product, selling to fifty- three countries worldwide, with pans outselling tubes. Pans are poured, then dried in a specially designed ‘sauna for paints’ at thirty seven degrees celsius, and then filled again another three times. This slow and complex process takes four months ensuring that all the water has evaporated, leaving the purest colour possible.  

Schmincke Aquarell ~ pans are their best selling product

In 2017, prompted by a change in the raw material market and the new potential of the latest pigments, Schmincke increased their range to one hundred and forty colours, with thirty two as one-pigment colours. The use of highly lightfast pigments, such as quinacridone and perylene offers new possibilities for the artist, with colours being constantly optimised and a few omitted due to the lack of raw materials.  You will notice product names changing too; ‘deep red’ is now ‘perylene maroon’ and ‘charcoal grey’ is renamed ‘anthracite’, ‘transparent’ replaces ‘translucent’ and so product ranges evolve. Watercolours that contained pigment granulations were once considered low grade…until a more recent desire for natural effects. Now they’ve introduced wonderfully granulating colours such as French Ultramarine, Potters Pink and Green Umber whilst other evocative new colour names include ‘Brilliant Opera Rose,’ ‘Mars Black’ and ‘Geranium Red’. 

A beautiful Schmincke Horadam Aquarell Set

Schmincke answer my question with a modern take on the medium, “We believe the popularity of our watercolours has endured because artists like to combine traditional techniques with new mediums, allowing for various experiments and mixed media techniques. In addition, Urban Sketching has become very popular around the world and sketchers prefer to use a combination of pens and watercolours with a wide range of applications and colour variety. The worldwide lettering and journaling trend favours watercolour.” And so watercolour moves with the times and the new generation of artists on a modern-day Grand Tour.

Mention must be made for non-toxic paint manufacture which is not only good practice but demanded in increasing numbers by discerning customers. Owing to the many scientific developments in the industry, artists colours are now available in environmentally friendly, synthetic alternatives.

Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolours ~ Iridescent Gold

One such manufacturer is Daniel Smith, who has been producing highly pigmented, granulated paints from his Seattle store since 1993. The brand is built on the premise of pure, non-toxic materials and even today, they employ a modern-day colour-man who travels the globe in search of the finest pigments and minerals available. They produce an astonishing two hundred and fifty watercolours, many of which are unique to Daniel Smith and include lightfast and durable quinacridone pigments. These pigments, originally developed for the automotive industry are loved for their brilliance and transparency.

To use semi-precious minerals in their PrimaTek range is inspired ~ the first colour was made from Lapis Lazuli Genuine in 1998 and was so popular they added Amethyst Genuine, Piemontite Genuine and Serpentine Genuine. The uniqueness of their product lies in the miniscule granules of pigment which move and separate randomly and work a special kind of magic on the paper. The fun doesn’t end there ~ other ranges include luminescent watercolours which shine and shimmer ‘like hummingbird feathers’ and a range of cadmium hues to emulate the richness and density of the original cadmiums.

Barry Herniman’s famous sketchbooks

Artist Barry Herniman has used watercolours throughout his career and tries to explain why, “Watercolour has always been my first love. I am captivated by its tremendous fluidity, transparency and vibrancy. I have never tired of watching pure pigments mixing and mingling on the paper producing those wonderful “happy accidents” that glow on the paper. It is also my preferred medium when sketching en plein air because of its versatility and ease of transportation. Equipment can be kept to the bare minimum but the results can be quite striking. Watercolour has rather bad press for being a difficult medium to handle and is somewhat unforgiving in its practice. To quote Philip Jamison, a terrific American watercolourist, “watercolour can be worked over but must not be overworked” and I think that just about says it all.”

The Royal Watercolour Society has carried the same strapline for more than two hundred years; “Celebrating the finest artists working in watercolour since 1804. The aim of the Society is to promote, by example and education, the understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of this exciting media.” Watercolour shows no signs of fading into obscurity.  

The deadline to enter The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2019 is 17th June and you can do so online here. Entry fee is £15 per work.

This year, First Prize is £8000 sponsored by London Wall Partners, Second Prize is £3000, Third Prize £1000. The Pegasus Young Artist Prize is £500 sponsored by Pegasus Art.

Artist Insight: Fhiona McKie, winner of the Pegasus Prize at Bath Society of Artists Open Exhibition 2019

Fhiona McKie

You won the Pegasus Prize of £350 worth of art materials at the Bath Society of Artists 114th Summer Exhibition. Do you enjoy entering art competitions and you do you think it’s important?

Yes, it’s good to be challenged by outside opportunities!

What inspired your winning painting? Tell us about the process and materials too!

I live near Hauser and Wirth Somerset and the inspiration came from an Autumn visit in 2017 to the Piet Oudolf Garden there . At the time I was working on a series of relief prints using fragments of lace and women ‘s collars from the 19th & 20th Century. I called the series Aphrodite’s Wardrobe. I had been very preoccupied with stories from Greek Mythology.

The garden presented me with a sense of nature being drawn back into itself, back into the earth, and I was reminded of the Story of Persephone. This theme has continued into further work.

I am often influenced by the appearance and surfaces of Italian Fresco work, in particular in the Convent of San Marco, Florence, in the work of Fra Angelico and also in Verona at the Basilica di San Zeno . So when creating the layers and surfaces of the picture I was trying to achieve a certain faded & layered effect without using the actual fresco method . The mediums were made from Acrylic paint and Graphite Sticks. I probably applied and then took off around six layers of paint. At one point with a kitchen scourer. This was a fairly high risk strategy as the work is on Somerset paper not canvas.

Aphrodite’s Wardrobe 11
Abstract by Fhiona McKie
Persephone Descending

Are you a full time artist, or do you balance your painting with other jobs?

I have worked as a full time lecturer & course leader for around 22 years firstly at Norwich School of Art & Design and then Bath College and Bath Spa University . Before this I owned a vintage clothing business and before that a small fashion & textile company designing and creating fabrics and garments. Last Summer 2018 I stopped working full -time in order to concentrate on my own work. It is not easy to balance work, art and family I have always kept up my own practice in particular drawing.

What is your preferred medium and which brands do you favour?

When I use water based mediums I use:

 Liquatex Heavy Body Acrylic

Golden Heavy Body Acrylic

 System 3 Acrylic if I am covering a large area and just exploring ideas

 For oils :

 Winsor & Newton Oils

Were you formally trained or self taught and do you think this matters?

Yes I was formally trained firstly at Exeter College of Art  Foundation, followed by  Dartington College of Arts .My B.A. is from Norwich School of Art & Design. I am actually about to continue studying at postgraduate level part-time.

 I believe that studying provides you with the time and place to explore and experiment and learn. It also encourages you to take lots of risks and to be challenged by an audience of critics and to become much more aware of the context you work within . I think it would be very difficult but not impossible without this kind of in depth training.

What advice can you give to graduates leaving art school?

Put to use the training you have had at art school. Employers value the transferable skills you acquire, including:

  • the ability to develop individual ideas and collaborate with others
  • strong observational, research and analytical skills
  • creative problem solving
  • the ability to learn from criticism and be objective about your work
  • an openness to new influences and concepts
  • entrepreneurial skills in marketing your work and possibly setting up a business.

Through showing your work at competitions and exhibitions, you also gain experience in working to briefs, organising your work and meeting deadlines, displaying work to advantage, lighting, marketing and event management.

Do you paint every day? What keeps you going? Do you attend art classes yourself?

I certainly try to draw nearly every day even if not to paint. It may only be 30 minutes. My favoured medium is charcoal . However when I am on a bigger painting project I tend to work in intense periods of hours and days where I may even loose track of time. I don’t attend art classes.

Which websites can you recommend for resources and support for an artist. Is it important to be part of a group, society or club? How do you stay in the loop?

Yes it is important for artists to be connected.  I have been very fortunate in my job as a lecturer to have links to those kind of friends and groups. Apart from the obvious London based galleries , exhibitions,  there are a number of regional organisations  in the South West that I would recommend. A number of them function as gallery spaces but also run workshops, lectures and also provide studio spaces.

Fhiona’s recommended links:

Hauser & Wirth

Drawing Projects

Spike Island

Visual Arts South West

Rabley Contemporary Drawing Centre

Pegasus Art

Are you represented by a gallery? Do you think galleries are still important for artists in the age of social media?

No not at the moment, although I have exhibited in a number of galleries. Yes I do believe galleries still perform an essential function in the Visual Arts.

The 114th Bath Society of Artists Open Exhibition runs until 29th June at the Victoria Art Gallery, open from 10.30am – 5pm every day.

For more information about the Bath Society of Artists click here.

Artist Insight: Kirsty Owen, winner of Pegasus Prize Readers Choice Award, Artists & Illustrator magazine

Elephant by Kirsty Owen

1. You won the Artists & Illustrators Readers Choice prize of £750 worth of art materials at the Artists of the Year awards in 2019. Do you enjoy entering art competitions and if so, why do you think it’s important?

Having recently tasted success in a national art competition, I can confidently say that I feel they can be an important part of an artist’s journey. For me, winning has reassured me that people like my work and that I should carry on doing what I love. I realised, some time ago, that being shortlisted in a competition is not a measure of your success or direct criticism of your work. Every artist will have an audience who both love and hate their work in equal measure and once you can accept that you are free to satisfy yourself and can stop trying to please everybody else. Entering competitions allows you to be critiqued by professionals and create an opportunity to learn and evolve.
In addition to the amazing £750 worth of Art Materials from Pegasus Art, which is going to keep me painting for some time, I have also taken away something invaluable which is a sense of validation to my work. No matter what my family, friends, clients and followers tell me about my paintings to be shortlisted by a panel of art professionals and voted for by complete strangers is overwhelming and an incredible feeling.

Kirsty Owen and her winning voucher with Jane Fisher, Director of Pegasus Art
Kirsty kindly brought a print of the winning painting as a gift for Jane Fisher when she visited Pegasus Art.

2. What inspired you to start painting?

I was always creative but was steered away from Fine Art College and into a conventional career (Graphic Design). Whilst on maternity leave I decided to join a small art class, taught by a successful artist. I was very quickly hooked and found myself painting whenever I could justify spending a few hours, which always felt quite self indulgent.

Vanishing Fast – Giraffe by Kirsty Owen

3. Have you always been an animal artist?

I started out painting a lot of landscapes, seascapes and still life studies. It was not until I began to do the odd pet portrait commission that I found a love for painting animals. I still paint various subjects but often I will come across a subject or place and feel utterly compelled to paint it. I find myself looking at things constantly as if they are going to end up on a canvas which can, at times, be quite distracting.

4. Are you a full time artist, or do you balance your painting with other jobs?

As a single mum of three children, in a very busy household, it is very much a juggling act! I am fortunate enough that I have been able to spend the last year really concentrating my spare time (if there is such a thing) on trying to make the move from being a hobbyist painter to professional artist. I do often find myself painting into the early hours and have to remind myself to go to bed. The problem is the more you paint, the more you want to paint so trying to find the correct balance can be difficult at times.

Herd by Kirsty Owen

5. What is your preferred medium and which suppliers do you favour? Do you always paint in watercolour?

My preferred medium is without a doubt oils. I tend to use a variety of brands but mostly Windsor & Newton and Old Holland. When painting with watercolours I use Schmincke, as I recently upgraded my Windsor & Newton set. I have to admit I have found the change quite difficult and it almost felt like learning to paint again. I am slowly getting used to the different way in which the paint behaves. The subject often dictates which medium I will use.

Vanishing Fast by Kirsty Owen

6. What advice can you give to graduates leaving art school?

I think some graduates would quite possibly have better advice for me than what I could offer them. That said, I would probably advise them to take criticism positively, paint what you love as often as you can and force yourself to spend time marketing your work! I have spent the last year forcing myself out of my comfort zone and it is now paying dividends.

7. Do you paint every day? What keeps you going? Do you attend art classes yourself?

I can’t always paint everyday although I would love to. I do however ‘think’ about painting every day! Keeping painting is not really a choice as I don’t think I could ever stop. I do not currently attend any art class but am always looking out for workshops and events. They are a great way of meeting other artists and learning other styles and techniques.

8. Which websites can you recommend for resources and support for an artist. Is it important to be part of a group, society or club? How do you stay in the loop?

There is so much support and resources online for artists that it can be quite overwhelming and you can literally loose hours on a screen. Social media is a great platform and source of creativity, however, I believe there is a fine line between inspiration and intimidation. I sometimes feel that there is so many insanely talented artists that I question ‘Am I actually good enough?’. At that point I know it is time to take a break from it and get in the studio!

9. Were you formally trained or self taught and do you think that matters?

I was not formally trained as an artist and I often wonder how much this has effected my style. I have mixed views on whether I feel that formal training is important or not as undoubtedly it allows an artist to be more experimental and expressive during those formative years. I feel like I am still playing catch up when experimenting with styles and mediums. Whilst I do not regret the route I have taken I have found the need to try and gain the missing knowledge by attending various art classes over the years. We should never stop learning but I do believe that passion and creativity comes from within and can’t be taught.

10. Are you represented by a gallery? Do you think galleries are still important for artists in the age of social media?

I am not currently represented by a gallery and that is one of my ambitions for the future. I have been working hard to get a strong enough body of work together to have the confidence to start approaching galleries.
I feel that galleries are essential and provide a very important service to both artist and buyer. When purchasing a piece of art, no matter what the cost, I personally would want to view it. Art has a very tactile quality to it which can not be appreciated by looking at it on a screen, often only a few inches in size. Although I appreciate social media as a marketing tool and self promotion, I feel that it totally falls down when it comes to sales.

To view Kirsty’s work CLICK HERE.

Kirsty’s Facebook page is HERE.

New Art Talks at Pegasus Art

We are delighted to introduce Art Talks at Pegasus Art ~ it seemed an obvious opportunity to share our suppliers and artists knowledge with you!

At the end of last year we refurbished the enormous space under the eaves of our handsome 17th century mill building (once used for building Horsa glider wings) in order to open up a new teaching studio.

The space is already well used for Classes and Workshops and now…..Art Talks! We have been working with many of our suppliers since Pegasus Art opened its doors in 2005 – they are deeply knowledgeable specialists in their field. It seemed a natural extension of everything we offer, to invite our customers to meet the people who produce these incredible products – paints, inks, brushes…..if you want to geek out about art materials, we can help! Not only that, but we are inviting artists to demonstrate their products, showing how they can be used to best effect.

All our Art Talks are bookable online, and will cost no more than £8. That price includes a glass of fizz and a very warm welcome from the Pegasus Art team.

Travels with my Paintbrush

An illustrated talk with Sarah Wimperis

Saturday 11th May 7 – 8.30pm £5

Attic Studios, Pegasus Art


Schmincke Finest Artists Paints & artist Barry Herniman

An illustrated talk with Anke Heintz (UK ambassador for Schmincke watercolours) and demonstration from Barry Herniman. Q&A at the end.

Tuesday 28th May 6 – 8pm FREE EVENT

Attic Studios, Pegasus Art


Becoming Vincent

An illustrated talk with Sarah Wimperis – the only British artist to work on the Oscar nominated film ‘Loving Vincent’. She painted four canvases a day for five months during the making of this incredible labour of love! Don’t miss it!

Friday 14th June 5 – 7pm £8

Attic Studios, Pegasus Art


‘Extreme en plein air’

A painting demonstration and talk with David ‘DJ’ Johnson ~ a talented artist and climber who finds himself in the most precarious of places…..with a paintbrush!

Saturday 16th November 5 – 7pm £8

Attic Studios, Pegasus Art

All our Art Talks will be listed HERE so keep your eye out for new ones! If you haven’t subscribed to our newsletter yet DO IT TODAY and you’ll be the first to hear about new talks.

Select Art Trail 2019

Meet artists at work – buy original artwork – shop with 10% off – enjoy Art Talks – join a workshop…..all at Pegasus Art this year!

We look forward to the Select Art Trail every year in early May, the sun is beginning to shine and we are excited to welcome visitors to our handsome 17th century mill on the outskirts of Stroud. Every door will be open…..EIGHT private studios, TWO Guest Exhibitors, ONE big art shop with 10% OFF all four days, ONE big Attic Studio with an exhibition, ONE Pop Up Cafe, HALF day drawing workshops with Paul Fowler. It’s all going on!

Our new Attic Studios are open…..

In October last year, we started refurbishment of what are now our Attic Studios, the large space beneath the eaves that we had been using as a storeroom. Jane Fisher, Director of Pegasus Art, had long seen it’s potential for a studio space, it was just a matter of working out how to divide the space and restore it to it’s original state.

We now have three, open sided studios, one of which belongs to fine artist Max Hale which will be open both weekends during the Select Art Trail. Once a pupil of Ken Howard OBE, Max was classically trained at Harrow School of Art before interloping as a designer and then returning to his first love; fine art. He paints in all mediums, he writes, teaches and is an ambassador for Dutch paint manufacturer Royal Talens. He’s great fun and will be painting, chatting, selling.

Sarah Wimperis joins us as a Guest Exhibitor in the Attic Studios. Well known for her work on the Oscar nominated film Loving Vincent, she will be exhibiting, welcoming visitors and selling her landscapes, still life and portraits (oil, gouache, watercolour). First weekend only 11th & 12th May.

Having spent five months in Poland, working in the exact style and palette of Van Gogh, painting up to four canvases a day (every day!) she is well placed to give an Illustrated Art Talk on Saturday 11th May called ‘Travels with my Paintbrush’ 7 – 8.30pm only £5 BOOK ONLINE HERE.

“For over forty years I have been travelling with my paintbrush…..painting with snakes in Israel, frozen paint in Norway and painting, quite literally, in the footsteps of Van Gogh.” DON’T MISS IT!



Jane Fisher: Fine artist, large landscapes, figurative artist, underwater swimmers. The underwater paintings tempt the viewer to dive into the space; looking at water being in water creates sensations, encourages thought and awakens personal memories.

Swimmer by Jane Fisher

Paul Fowler: Fine artist, large oils many with a focus on history, human form and textile. “The lay figures I work from have been engaged in other artists studios for the past two hundred years. They are now in my studio, their history, their place and the space they occupy in our time offers a unique structure for my own work.”

Large figurative oil by Paul Fowler

Sarah Howard: Sarah is an oil painter, and is new to Pegasus Art, taking on her studio at the end of last year. We’re excited to see her work!

Hay Bales by Sarah Howard

Teresa Poole: Mixed media and decorative artist specialising in traditional oriental art and contemporary mixed media on canvas and interiors. From murals and paint finishes to furniture and mirrors.

Delicate landscape by Teresa Poole

Carol Honess: Carol’s screenprints and drypoint prints of seedheads, grasses and trees are very subtle and beautiful. Carol embosses natural plants onto wet clay and gievs them an indigo wash, creating lovely tiles. She chooses calm hues of pale blue, teal and greys which have become a signature of her work. Instagram: @fern_cottage_studio

Indigo Tiles by Carol Honess

Julie Fowler: Julie creates exuberant, narrative-based ceramics for the table, decorative panel pieces and artworks. Focused on food and eating, her vessels exude a rich, ornate feel resplendent with curves and curlicues. Ripe strawberries and lemons hang from the sides evoking rich summer teas, puddings and light-dappled interiors.

Ceramics by Julie Fowler

Susie Harding: Her latest work is based on the Extreme Poses Life Class held by Paul Fowler at Pegasus entitled “You are Here” and takes you on a figurative journey into the unknown, the unexpected and the accidental.

“You are Here” by Susie Harding

Guest Exhibitor: Mel Cormack-Hicks. With a degree in Fine Art and twenty years teaching art in secondary schools, Mel recently launched her own painting career and was quickly offered a solo show with Chapel Arts. We are really excited that she has agreed to be our Guest Exhibitor in Studio One for both weekends of Select Art Trail. Her mixed media landscapes and seascapes are emotive, dynamic and expressive. She will be painting and chatting and selling!

Fine artist Mel Cormack-Hicks
Attic Studios 2018
Digby, our shop dog in Jane’s old studio
Paul Fowler’s Five Studio Essentials, 2018
Teresa Poole’s Five Studio Essentials, 2018
Sarah Howard in Studio 7
Max Hale

If you’d like any further information about this years Select Art Trail at Pegasus Art, please contact us or 01453 886560. Head to the Select Art Trail website for trail information, events, exhibitions and much more. Pick up your FREE BROCHURE at Pegasus Art and in all the best places around Stroud. It’s a superb event, please support it!

We look forward to welcoming you. And don’t forget…..there’s 10% OFF IN THE SHOP ALL FOUR DAYS!