Paul Corfield

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"I was born in Bournemouth, Dorset on the 25th March 1970 and have lived within10 miles of my birthplace all my life. I can't remember exactly when it was, but I know I was very young when I first started learning to draw. Detail was always my thing; if my drawing didn't look like the object or scene I was looking at then I would find it a most infuriating experience. In my recent work I have finally escaped those shackles and it's been a very enjoyable and liberating experience; it's only now I finally feel like the artist I'd always wanted to become. The journey here has been an up and down one and at times a real struggle.

After I left school I applied to art college and was accepted, but in the end I had to turn it down and that's where my art career ended for the time being. I would have been training to be a technical illustrator, but with hindsight I think it was good that I didn't pursue that style of painting as within a few years computers would have taken over and producing technical illustrations manually wouldn't have been in demand.

For the next 13 years I worked at an engineering firm and painted in the evenings. It was while working there that I met a girl called Sara who went on to become my wife and she has been a total rock in my life and certainly helped me get to where I am today. After we were married Sara became pregnant and it became apparent that she had a rare blood disorder which would cause her to keep having miscarriages. With the wonders of modern medicine there was a way around this problem and we now have two wonderful children. One week after the birth of our first child Sara had come off of the medication that had kept the baby alive and made the birth possible but stopping the medication caused her to have a massive stroke. My life went into turmoil, during the coming weeks I had totally accepted that I would never become an artist and I was preparing myself to looking after Sara for the rest of my years. The gods must have been looking down on us though as she made a full recovery and 5 weeks later came home from hospital to be reunited with our new baby. It still took many weeks before Sara was like her old self again and four years later we did a mad thing and had another baby. Sara is on permanent medication now and the threat of a stroke happening again is greatly reduced and the second birth went according to plan. An event like that really opens your eyes - it certainly did ours and now if we have a decision to make we just do it, life is way too short not to. One of those life-changing decisions came in 2002 when the engineering firm I was working for offered the chance of voluntary redundancies. I put my name forward and was accepted. The plan was to use the redundancy money and live off that for a year while I just painted and painted. It was a big gamble as we have two children to feed. Everyone was telling me not to leave work because of that and telling me that no one could make a living from art. My wife was the only person to back me 100%.

After leaving work my passion for realism took over and my works for the next 3 years were highly detailed. If they were to be categorised then it would likely be contemporary realism or photorealism. I was successful in that style and was represented in both London and America. In my spare time though I was developing an idea that has evolved into the landscapes that you see now. I toyed around with the idea for well over a year but it kept being put on the back burner. It however always niggled away at the back of my mind, I just knew there was something in it. So one day I sent off my ideas to Washington Green and they saw something in them too. That was it, I was released, now I could paint real brush strokes instead of hiding them, I had the freedom to create; I could drift off into another world instead of living in a world of realism. So, now you see how I got here, feel free to join me along the way, there's so much more to come."

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