Artist looks at a bigger picture

Martyn Gates
Martyn Gates

A 56-year-old artist has begun a project to create portraits of all the residents in Cublington.

Martyn Gates, of St Nicholas Close, studied fine art at Winchester School of Art, but he did not pursue his passion for art – though that has recently changed.

Cublington portraits - Avril painting

Cublington portraits - Avril painting

Last year, he embarked on a project to depict the village of Cublington, where he has lived with his wife Avril and daughter Saskia, since 1990.

He intends to draw or paint portraits of everyone in the village, there are more than 200 residents.

Martyn, who works full time for Audit Bureau of Circulations, said: “I wanted to create a social commentary of the village, I was keen to start my art again but I needed something to focus on.

“Painting the village, both people and the landscape gave me that focus, but it also expanded my work in a number of different ways, using different mediums; oil paint, charcoal, ink etc.

Cublington portraits - Joe M

Cublington portraits - Joe M

“I have already started painting and drawing some of the residents, I have asked them to write a bit about themselves and Cublington, it is not just about the art.”

Many of the residents will be getting individual portraits, but he might paint some group portraits for the societies in the village.

He will be doing the paintings and drawings in his studio, based at his house, in the evenings and weekends.

The artist believes it could take two years to complete the project.

He has not decided how he will present his work, it may be in an exhibition or some picture books, with any proceeds going to the village.

Martyn added: “This project is for the village, and the people who live here, they should benefit from any proceeds made.

“This project has allowed me to focus on my art, I hope to devote all my time to art soon, I am really enjoying it.”

To see more of Martyn’s work, visit: www.martyngates.co.uk or follow him on Twitter @MartynGates.