Hello! I'm Challoner Spokes, an experienced painter who specialises in creative education and training. I'm passionate about arts, crafts and helping others develop their skills.
I was born in Hertfordshire and lived in London, Berkshire and Kent before I settled in Oxfordshire. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree (Hons) from University of Kent and a professional background in Adult Learning & Development.
I enjoy using a variety of different mediums, with my main practice being Drawing and Oil painting. My paintings are colourful, loose and with heavy lines. I’m inspired by nature and, although my work is figurative, I don’t feel bound by realism or precision.
With over a decade of experience of delivering training, education and workshops to students and adult learners of various ages and backgrounds, my style of instruction is energetic, fun and interactive.
Colour theory and the Fauvist art movement really excite me. I like creating work which is more than reality; I like to emphasise what is important about the subject and, for me, that means Lines and Colour.
I’m inspired by the artists George Braque, Andre Derain, Paul Cezanne and, more recently, by the Baroque style and colours of contemporary artist Flora Yukhnovich.
My process for creating artwork is to go for a walk with my sketchbook, a 4b pencil and a flask of tea. I work my sketches up into bigger paintings back in the studio.
I try not to work from photos too much because I like to bring my own interpretation and my own mis-rememberings to the work. Having said that, if I’m inspired whilst out and about with other people I’ll take a photo of the subject so not to be antisocial.
I use big broken brushmarks and I work the colour around the canvas rather than working on one element at a time. I always try and remember Pissarro’s advice to Cezanne:
“Do not be afraid of applying strong colour…paint what you see and feel. Paint boldly and without hesitation, because it’s important to get your first impressions down. And do not be shy of nature!”