Nicholas Rous

Nicholas Rous

As a child I would spend a good deal of my time drawing, but I received no formal art tuition once I left school. Perhaps I should have tried for a place at art college, but instead I opted to train as a cartographer with the British Geological Survey. This was in the days when boundaries between rock types were drawn using a ruling pen, and lettering was added in an elegant copperplate hand using a steel-nibbed pen. A far cry from our digital age when it is just a matter of defining an area and filling it with colour using one click of a mouse! But one thing I learnt there was how to handle large and complicated washes of colour without leaving brush marks, and that has been a valuable asset in my painting.

I moved from cartography to graphic design, and worked in that discipline for forty years, largely as a book designer.

I paint exclusively from photographs that I have taken, and often I will have a painting in mind when I take a shot. The only medium I use is gouache. I appreciate its versatility, as it can be applied in multiple washes, just as watercolour, or used opaquely. This allows the possibility of painting light colours over dark ones, which is impossible with pure watercolour.

Many of my paintings are simply celebrations of God's creation in some of its many facets. My response may be to some spectacular scenery, climatic conditions, composition, or because it has some personal resonance for me. Occasionally it is something more quirky like weathered stonework or old furniture that has caught my imagination. Contrasts, particularly that between sunlight and shade, feature in a number of my paintings.

I hope you enjoy browsing through my gallery.