R.D. (Bob) McKenzie

Born 1947, I started painting in oils at the age of 13. I became hugely inspired by L.B. Elliot, who had been inspired by W.G. Wiles and Errol Boyley. A meshing of impressionists and loose realists formed the platform of my early work. I would classify myself as an impressionist/realist.

My greatest influence, however, I believe is Dino Parravano. I was fortunate to spend some time with him and his most lasting advice was never to become known as one who paints the sea, or only paints wildlife etc. 'Paint anything and everything. You will enjoy some subjects more than others, but you'll learn most when you?re out of your comfort zone'.

I tend to find myself selecting subjects based more on the quality of the light, than the subject itself.

I only use my own photographs and although they are important, they only give me a structural reference. Nothing can replace the personal experience of having been there. I need to 'smell the dust' to be able to contribute that extra dimension that will hopefully be the soul of the work, separating it from a purely mechanical reproduction of someone else's experience. It's also a beautiful excuse to take yourself off to exquisite places.

Inspiration comes from my last painting. If that happened to be a 'beacon' work, then I can't wait to get back to the easel. If on the other hand it was a bit ordinary, I need to get back to try to recapture the freshness that was lacking.

It is nice to know that there is no final destination in painting, only the journey.