Artist Insight: Colin Joyce ~ watercolour landscapes from beautiful corners of the world

Artist Insight: Colin Joyce ~ watercolour landscapes from beautiful corners of the world
Colin painting on location

“Don’t put it off, just do it. Switch off the TV and get the paints out.”

We are excited to welcome Colin Joyce as a new tutor to Pegasus Art this year, and we’ve managed to catch him when he’s not teaching on a painting holiday or travelling around in his campervan!

Colin has been working in watercolour for many years. Having studied art at school, then part time at college, he pursued a career in financial services for thirty eight years, painting in his spare time. He took early retirement in 2013 to concentrate on painting full time. Colin writes for the Leisure Painter magazine and is a regular watercolour instructor on cruise ships and for painting holiday company, Arte Umbria. He runs his own workshops from Fife and also teaches across the UK.  A love for your subject and/or place will shine through in the work, Colin says “Having that connection means you paint from the heart.”

As part of our Artist Insights series, we are keen to find out how he came to work as a full time, professional artist, his processes and how he makes it work. I think many of you will relate to his story as he came to painting a later in life – read on….

A croft in Fife

Are you a trained artist, or self taught and do you think that matters?

I’m mainly self taught. I studied A level and hoped to go to art college but my parents had other ideas. I’ve since attended part-time college and studied with several prominent artists. In a way, I’m glad it worked out that way otherwise I might be scrounging from skips to make installations or such like!

Your journey into becoming a professional artist is an interesting one. What advice would you give to people who have a passion for painting but aren’t able to fully commit ? What made a difference to you?

It’s difficult to make a living from art unless you’re well established. I’m lucky that I have a pension to pay the bills. My advice: enjoy your art, do it when you can. I know of folk who get up at 5.30am to paint before they go to work.

Colin demonstrating at Patchings Festival

Are you part of a painting group? Do you have mentors or people who help and advise you?

I’m a member of several groups including Edinburgh Urban Sketchers and Edinburgh Plein Air group. It’s great to get out with fellow artists, we can all learn from each other.

What is your regular painting practice? Do you paint or draw every day?

Not every day. When at home I plan my week to have separate admin days and painting days. When I’m painting it’s difficult to drag myself away from the studio. I travel a lot and sketch or paint most days then as I prefer to paint outdoors in front of the subject.

Eileen Donan Castle

What really inspires you?

The light! It’s all about the light and how it creates contrast in the scene. Dull flat light doesn’t inspire me to paint.

Tell us which materials you favour and why.

First of all, I like to keep my kit simple and lightweight. I have to carry it after all. I use a pochade box on a tripod when painting in oils, together with my wet panel carrier of course. For watercolours, I built myself a kit which all goes in a backpack and again, fits on a tripod. I usually paint up to 15×11 inch outdoors. My preferred paper is Saunders Waterford 300gsm Rough. I use Winsor & Newton and Daniel Smith artist quality watercolours.

Schiehallion & Loch Kinardochy

As the saying goes, ‘it’s never too late’ – what advice do you have for people who want to take up painting later in life?

Don’t put it off, just do it. Switch off the TV and get the paints out. The three most important things are practice, practice and practice. Watch DVD’s or You tube tutorials. Better still, join a class or attend a workshop and be amongst like minded people. Don’t feel embarrassed, we were all beginners once. You should see some of my old attempts…well perhaps not!

An Umbrian garden

You are a tutor for Arte Umbria – what is the appeal of a painting holiday?

It’s about being with like minded people. Spending a week together painting, talking about painting, being fully immersed in art. It’s just wonderful. I’ve attended myself in the past and will again in the future, you never stop learning. Everyone goes home energised.

Who was your greatest art influence – teacher, famous artist….

There are two really. Ken Howard RA and Joseph Zbukvic. Ken is a master of oil painting and I was so fortunate to paint with him in Morocco, learning so much. Joseph is one of the best watercolourists around and I’ve been on two of his workshops. Both are masters of tone and light.

Two boats

Do you enter painting competitions?

I used to, but haven’t recently. I’ve won prizes in the past, which was nice, and sold a few of those accepted. Living in Scotland the logistics for entering, for example, those based in London’s Mall Galleries, make it very expensive to exhibit if you do get accepted. If you aspire to become an ROI or RSMA for example then, yes, go for it. For me, it’s not a priority.

Join Colin’s watercolour workshop at Pegasus Art:

Dreamy Watercolour Landscapes

Saturday 5th October 2019

10am – 4pm

£60 in our Attic Studios

BOOK ONLINE HERE. Upon booking we will send you information about the day and a recommended materials list.

For more information about Colin: