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Frank Bishop Frank Bishop

Frank Bishop lives and works in Norfolk UK. Completely self-taught his greatest love is in painting the boats lying in the creeks along the North Norfolk Coast. He has exhibited in Norfolk and Suffolk and has sold in Britain, Europe, and America.

After doodling and sketching in my early youth, I came late to the fascinating world of watercolour painting, having spent most of my working life in industrial management and engineering design.

I had no formal, or for that matter, informal training, but work in design, both on the drawing board and the computer, gave me the ‘kick-start’ that I needed when I first put brush to paper.

It all started in my early sixties, when, as part of my work at that time I was required to spend long nights and weekends in Hotels in various parts of America. I soon got sick of American TV, and though I enjoy a drink, I wasn’t prepared to prop up the bar all night. With weather often well below -30 degrees, a nice long walk was out of the question, and so I spent many hours just staring at the walls!!

Then, one Saturday morning in a hotel in Milwaukee, I decided that enough was enough. I found a local art shop and told the assistant that I wanted to paint in watercolour, but had no experience and no equipment. She fixed me up with a 12” x 8” pad of 140 pound NOT paper, a small Windsor & Newton paint box containing twelve paint blocks, three brushes, numbers 3, 4, and 8, an HP and a B pencil, and a small twelve page book entitled “Teach yourself to paint in one day”!!

The first paintingI returned to the hotel, read the book, filled the bathroom tumblers with water and started on the recommended step-by-step landscape illustrated in my little book. The picture grew on the paper before my eyes, and I was hooked. – So much so, that I almost missed out on dinner despite the fact that the restaurant didn’t close until 10:00pm!

On Sunday morning my picture still looked pretty good to me, and I just couldn’t wait to start another. Obviously, at 30 below it was too cold to select an outdoor subject, but luckily I had with me a photograph that I had taken of bramley apples on our own tree at home, and so I just sat and painted a single apple. Before I realized it, Sunday was over, and my love affair with watercolour had begun.

The little landscape, mounted and framed, went to my much loved Sister-in-law, probably because she wouldn’t have the heart to tell me that it was awful, and the apple also suitably mounted has hung on our kitchen wall for fifteen years, where I still look at it and say; “Did I really paint that?”

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