Artist profile - Trevor Lingard
PUBLISHED: 00:00 21 November 2018
Trevor Lingard's ability to capture the light makes him one of Lancashire's most successful watercolourists. Barbara Waite reports
The saying ‘Less is more’ could have been invented for Lancashire Life Landscape Artist of the Year finalist Trevor Lingard. His seemingly simple, pared down pictures tell of a lifetime of practice of reducing a scene to its essentials.
Keeping things simple is his mantra. A limited palette of just seven or eight colours and an economy of detail are his hallmark style which makes an immediate connection with the viewer and has brought him a legion of fans.
His mother used to tell him he painted like Lowry when he was a boy. ‘When I think about that now I can see that she meant – we both included people and the painting had a narrative. That’s really important to me, that and capturing the light.’
From an early age his parents encouraged him to work hard to achieve in life, and though he did excel in art making it a career was out of the question. So Trevor, with no formal qualifications and who was later diagnosed as dyslexic, started working life as an apprentice plumbing and heating engineer.
He gradually worked his way up to being a building surveyor, but it was always his ambition to become a professional artist. ‘I always realised my ability to create art in one form or another and from the age of 25 my desire to create paintings overwhelmed me. I became addicted to the medium of watercolour and my first exhibition was a sell-out.’
But with a young family to support, he had to keep working and painting full-time was deferred. In his early 50s he was able to take the plunge and go fully professional.
Teaching and giving demonstrations to art societies helped fund his dreams in the early days, but he’s now reached the stage where he paints mainly for himself. ‘I’ve been wealthy in my quality of life, it‘s never been about the money for me,’ says Trevor, who lives in Sabden in the Ribble Valley. ‘My pictures sell in galleries in the north of England. I like to know about who is buying them and their feedback. It’s important to me to keep that connection. I don’t do many straight landscapes there are always people inhabiting the scene. I work from on-the-spot sketches and photographs, but for any painting the drawing is almost like a scribble with little detail in it.
‘In a precise drawing, lines become almost like boundaries and I like to be able to move things about if say I need a longer shadow to accentuate the light or a tree doesn’t fit the composition. My early influences – Ron Ranson and John Yardley – have led me to simplify a scene and use few colours. There’s no need to complicate things.’
His travels and occasional teachings have taken him to many countries in Europe and as far as South America. ‘New horizons give me much inspiration and this often reflects in the subject matter of my paintings. He has recently been to France and Bruges.
‘I have been painting seriously now for more than 40 years and consider myself still learning the trade. If I thought I had reached the pinnacle of my career I would call it a day right now.’ u
You can see more of his work on his website trevorlingard.co.uk where there is also a list of the galleries selling his work.