Dick Chaplin: Artist of the Month - June 2014

Every month, we highlight the work of a different artist or illustrator through the title banner of our monthly newsletter – Penorama. If you don’t already receive Penorama, you can subscribe here.

The artist of the month for June is Dick Chaplin, a retired police sergeant/potter from Essex.

Here’s the banner Dick made for us:

Penorama Banner - Dick Chaplin

 And here's how it appeared in this month's edition of Penorama:

Penorama Banner vol. 17

Cult Pens: Tell us a bit more about yourself.
Dick: I retired from Essex Police in 2001 and worked for a charity (two actually) in mid Wales, having always been drawn to the rural surroundings where we used to holiday since the early 1950s. As a self taught potter, I returned to Essex and became full time studio potter/teacher in 2002 but realised that I needed a proper income so became a community development officer in 2008 whilst retaining painting, potting and drawing as a sideline. 

I've been interested in art/pottery my whole life since winning a national art competition in 1964 whilst at school. Became interested in other media and started glass projects. As arthritis has progressed, I have abandoned pottery and most glass projects but now concentrate on drawing and painting. I've recently moved from smelly/messy oils to acrylics, penwork and mixed media, and like doing pencil portraits from photos.

I'm a family man, with 4 children and long (40yrs) suffering darling of a wife.

Cult Pens: How would you describe your work?
Dick: Diverse. I cover anything from replica roman amphorae and sculpture to stained glass and watercolour landscapes.

Cult Pens: What got you into drawing/cartoons?
Dick: It allows me to express/amuse myself whilst not taxing my arthritis.

Cult Pens: If you weren’t a cartoonist/artist, what was the back-up plan?
Dick: As I am not a cartoonist I don’t need a plan. That gives me an idea…never tried cartoons, yet!Magpie

Cult Pens: What are your favourite subjects/topics to draw?
Dick: Intricate subjects, especially vintage cars and motorcycles. Also like to draw botanical and zoological subjects. Enjoy pencil portraits too.

Cult Pens: Where do you get your ideas or inspiration from?
Dick: My own long life experiences, my surroundings, other artists, and latterly, the internet.

Cult Pens: What are you currently working on?
Dick: I have been painting landscapes on canvas/acrylics as well as increasing size and complexity of my drawings and penwork. Unfortunately this takes up space I do not have and roars through pens, so I will have to look for better methods.

Cult Pens: How long does it normally take to complete a project?
Dick: Anything from an hour to a week. I never time myself or record how long it takes as in my situation it is not relevant.

Cult Pens: What are your top 5 pens?
Dick: For artwork:

For writing:

Cult Pens: What pen or pencil couldn’t you live without?
Dick: My aged Faber Castell clutch .9mm pencil for sketching, and my Fisher Space Bullet Pen Titanium Plated Rainbow, because it is beautiful.

Cult Pens: Do you know when a work is finished or are you constantly tweaking?
Dick: Depends. Sometimes one just knows when to move on.

Cult Pens: What work are you most proud of?
Dick: My series of pen drawings of Morgan Aero cars and raku pots.

Morgan Aero M

Cult Pens: What tips do you have for aspiring artists/cartoonists?
Dick: Try everything before it’s too late. Don’t be afraid to move on to something new.

Dick, rather generously, tends to give his drawings and paintings to friends and family as gifts, but you can see more from his Morgan series here.

3 June 2014

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