At the Arts Educational Schools, as well as dance and drama, drawing and painting were important and we were imaginatively taught. I was lucky to visit the original caves at Lascaux, where those glistening animals on the undulating walls were an inspiration for life. I then studied at St Albans School of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art with William Coldstream, then a postgraduate year in Italy, studying the Renaissance masters.

From a training in movement and dance, my work is based closely on the expression of 
human life and movement. Portraiture has always been a part of that. My first commission was in 1977 for a BBC film in the Everyman series.   

Teaching in London and Wiltshire, and latterly at Swindon School of Art and Design, was combined with family life. The balance between painting, teaching and raising a large 
family has been a positive challenge. It has deepened my understanding of the human dynamics which are at the heart of every portrait. My five children now work in design, 
music and humanitarian charity, and are a collective inspiration to me.

In 1995 teaching gave way to portraiture, and an open-house exhibition introduced me 
to a new clientele which led steadily to painting portraits nationwide. Besides portraits 
I make other figurative paintings from drawings. Visit to see
other paintings and oil pastels.

My portraits have been shown at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Contemporary Portrait Society (The Naked Face), and the New Grafton Portrait Centre. See other exhibitions at I’ve received interesting commissions From David Wolfers at the New Grafton Portrait Centre and some of the best have come my way in Scotland where my twice-great uncle, ‘Glasgow Boy’ James Guthrie, painted many portraits. My study for a portrait of Sir Michael Atiyah is in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery 
I prepare my own canvases and work in oil paint, or oil pastel on paper. My portraits vary from small and intimate which I love, to substantial, over life-size works for public spaces which is exciting and challenging. With group portraits I am glad of my dual experience of professional and family life. Click here to look in on a portrait sitting, The core character of an individual, revealed in exact shape and gesture, and how this can be expressed in the design of a painting is endlessly intriguing. The understanding which develops with my sitter as we work together often leads to lasting friendship. Commissioning a Portrait        Contact
Visit to see other paintings.Sir_Michael_Atiyah.htmlportrait_sitting.htmlCommissioning_a_portrait.htmlContact.htmlCommissioning_a_portrait.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0shapeimage_2_link_1shapeimage_2_link_2shapeimage_2_link_3

Juliet Wood