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Tim Wilmot
An artist living in the UK and specializing in landscape watercolors in an impressionistic style.
Tim Wilmot is one of the newest members of the Artsia community - a watercolorist living in Bristol, UK. It’s surprising to learn that his painting is a hobby; he has his own splotched style using light loose brushstrokes that lean towards impressionism. The light-flushed scenes have a wet, reflective look to them, and scrolling through his blog feels like traveling through a world that’s underwater.

He’s painted all his life and aside from brief lessons in school is completely self-taught. Tim actually works in business software and happens to have both passions and talents in painting and gardening. His watercolors cover the world from Egypt to Turkey to Spain to his backyard in the UK, with compositions derived from reference photos during trips abroad.

Does living in Bristol inspire all of your watercolor landscapes or would you paint your surroundings regardless of where you are?

I think as time has gone on, I have learnt to look at almost any location and try and find a subject or composition as a candidate for a sketch.  I always have of course my phone with me wherever I go to take a handy reference photo if an opportunity arises.  Where I live, I am very close to the cities of Bristol and Bath, plus the Cotswolds with its wonderful scenes, is just north of me.  I am constantly changing my subject locations between the UK and other vacation destinations I have been to in the past.

Do you often travel to the places like Jerusalem and Alexandria that you paint?

Many of the locations I paint I have been to only once, but when I am there, I could take maybe several hundred reference photos which I then use as subjects on my return.  My holidays are sometimes very short, just a few days because of work commitments, so I find taking many photos is a better use of time rather than doing plein aire and having to take all your painting materials when I’m away.

How long does it typically take to create each of your works?

Normally under an hour, and I do it all in one go. I never go back to a finished painting.  If I spot a mistake after completing a sketch I would rather start another similar one rather than going back.

Do you have a particular routine that accompanies your painting?

No special routine, but nearly all my paintings are done in the evening, just before retiring for bed (I have a small setup in the bedroom).  Some people read a book for an hour before sleep, I do a sketch!

Have you ever worked consistently in a medium other than watercolor and why didn’t it stick?

I have always worked in watercolor.  As a kid I had done ‘painting by numbers’ in oils but never stuck with it.  I have purchased in the past, pastels, watercolor pencils, charcoals, but again never persisted with any other media except watercolor.

What do you love most about watercolors?

What I love is their speed.  It takes little time to get setup and you can complete a picture in a shorter time compared to say oils in my opinion.  I love the spontaneity and the little mistakes that happen with watercolors when it bleeds for example in unplanned areas.  I love all the different techniques you can deploy – washes, wet in wet, dry brush strokes, applying thick pigment etc..

Who are some of the artists you most admire? Did they play a part in the formulation of your own work?

Contemporary artists I admire are Alvaro Castagnet, Joseph Zbukvic, Steve Hall and John Yardley.  I have tried to take elements of their techniques and adapt it to my style.  You could never copy a Zbukvic, but it’s best to examine all these artists and take away elements that suit your style.  I can remember as a kid watching on TV maybe over 40 years ago, a program presented by a guy called Rolf Harris.  He is still very well known in the UK as a TV presenter and professional artist, but part of his program back then was to take a large decorators brush, a large can of household paint (normally black – well it looked black on our black and white TV) and paint an extremely large picture – maybe 8 feet square, in an impressionistic style.  It was all done in a matter of minutes, but he just had that skill with a brush to make a quick mark and make it just look like something!

Do you think formal education in art is necessary, or does your own experience prove otherwise?

Some education does help.  I have not had any education apart from at school.  I think it would help if beginners had some tuition or practice of drawing skills with a pencil, perspective (if doing landscapes), colour mixing, brush skills and laying a wash for example.

What do you do outside of painting and how does your artistic practice complement it?

My job is selling business software so nothing artistically related there, but in my spare time I garden and have designed other gardens for friends, so I suppose there is a crossover of skills there

How has your art and style developed over time? Have you always painted in the loose, impressionistic style you do now?

As time has gone on, my painting style has got looser. I can remember years ago taking a lot of time with figures and vehicles, but looking at those pictures now, it tends to make them stand out too much and not be part of the picture.  I try to take less time with those little details now, and just suggest things and try and connect elements of the picture for example connecting cars with their shadow and then connecting to some other part of the picture.

What’s your goal as an artist? Expression, influence, or just for the love of it?

Just the love of it and creating a permanent record of my feeling of a scene or place.

What do you hope your body of work ultimately represents?

I have not given that any thought. There is no long term objective in my hobby, and that is what it is at the moment, just something I do in my spare time and something to enjoy.

How do you feel blogging complements your artistic practice? What do you think about the way the internet has impacted the art world?

My blog is more of a journal or record of my paintings together with some kind of comment on the description or how I did the painting.  I do post every painting I do, even the ones that I may not have been too happy with.

I think the Internet has had a tremendous effect on the art world in the last 10-15 years with the way we can get exposure to different artists without the need for travel or purchasing expensive publications.  It has helps in the research and learning experience with many forums out there that artists at whatever skill level can participate.

I also see many artists using Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media platforms to communicate with their followers and create little communities.

I think also there’s scope for using the web for distance learning where tutors can deliver a painting course remotely via the web to their subscribers, again without the need for travel.  So a tutor could be delivering a course to hundreds of people rather than just a few.

What’s your favorite thing about being an artist?

Being creative.  Looking at a 3D world and trying to emulate it in a 2D format.

Do you have any advice for art students just entering the field?

Practice, Practice, Practice.  Maybe join a forum if you use the web.  Pick up some books with lessons or tutorials.  Join a local art club.  Get feedback on your work, not only from other artists but also non-artists (they after all could be future purchasers of your work!)
More about this artist:
Bristol United Kingdom 

"Artist living in the UK and specialising in landscape watercolours in a slightly impressionistic style."

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