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Cyril Croucher's Biography

Cyril Croucher - Feline Fable I

The Creative Day...

Living and working in the beautiful county of Cornwall makes each day a pleasure to wake up to, in spite of the fact that the first thing I must do every morning is walk our extremely demanding dog. After having breakfast I usually try to start work at about 9.30am - just like the old days when I was tied to an office desk - but then again, not! If I have a work in progress or an idea for a new image in my head I tend to go straight to my studio and get painting. Otherwise, weather permitting, I pack up my sketch pad and make for the Cornish coast in search of new material. If all goes according to plan, I like to paint right through the day until around 6pm; but I have two surfing mad daughters, so if surf’s up I collect them from school and we head for the beach. Putting a day into words like this makes me feel like a lucky man!

The Creative Impulse...

As a child, I spent many happy hours in the company of my grandmother - a great storyteller who merged fantasy and reality in her spellbinding tales. These stories provided the inspiration for my early work, and I think (hope) traces of her can still be found in my paintings of granite cottages huddled into tiny alleyways around the safe haven of harbours. Since moving to Cornwall I have discovered a genuine love for this county’s ancient coastal culture, with its strong sense of a living history and mythology, and find tremendous pleasure in recreating what I see around me in the studio.

The Creative Process...

Once I have built up a set of sketches I spend some time considering how to merge them into a finished composition. I am in no way a literal painter, and like to offer a different view of the world - my own particular interpretation of what I see. Once I can sense where I want to go with an image, I start to get the ideas down in the studio. My preferred medium is acrylics on board, as I believe the quick drying quality suits my style of painting, in which I build up colour by continually applying a thin layer of paint which I then rub back until the colour is almost translucent, bringing what I can only describe as a muted depth to the colours. My new work grew out of a fascination with the height of harbour walls and the buildings which are often built on the harbours and quays. The sense of height one feels when looking up at the walls from inside the harbour gave me the feeling of looking upwards inside the immense space of a cathedral. I have tried to capture this feeling in my work together with other elements and memories from my past. I hope to create a sense of timelessness, calm and intrigue.

Background...

Cyril was born in 1951 and grew up in Shoeburyness, a small village in the East of England. He graduated from Southend-on-Sea Art College in the swinging sixties and set out to establish himself as a professional artist. Dissatisfied with the work he was producing and following the death of his father, Cyril stopped painting and, as he puts it, “rejoined the real world and got a proper job”. For the next twenty years he worked in various trades, from boat building to gardening, and finally settled into a successful career as a property surveyor. It was only when he moved to Cornwall with his family that he started to paint again - unable to help himself in the face of so much inspirational material! It was the houses and boats in their quaint harbour settings that interested him most, and thus his present style was born and began to evolve. Together with his wife he bought and extended the Millpool Gallery which is in Mousehole, a beautiful unspoiled fishing village in the far west of the county, and began to exhibit his new work. From then he has not looked back; his work has grown in popularity at an amazing rate, and he has held numerous successful exhibitions across the South West of England. When asked what he gets out of painting Cyril replies, “happiness.”

Cyril Croucher's Artwork

Feline Tales IV
by Cyril Croucher
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Feline Tales III
by Cyril Croucher
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Feline Tales II
by Cyril Croucher
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