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Gordon  King

Born in London on 6th June, 1939 Gordon spent most of his early childhood on the Fife coast of Scotland before moving south of the border to Reading in Berkshire.

As a child his talent came to the fore early on, winning several major art competitions from the age of seven. From the time of his first drawing class at the age of 15 he had found his niche. Life drawing has been the basis of his work ever since, a strong discipline inbred from those early days.Even in a landscape the figurative content has beenhis focal point regardless of how small the content is.

After leaving school he concentrated on figurative illustration, undergoing training at Carlton Studios in London whilst studying life drawing and painting at Reading University.

In his early 20's he went freelance, illustrating for major magazines and advertising agencies. Gradually he built up the commission side of his work by painting portraits and exhibiting his work until in the mid 70's he gave up illustration work altogether to enable him to concentrate full-time on his paintings which at that time were predominantly in oils. Success came quite rapidly, showing at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions in London and later at the Royal Institute of Painters in watercolours, painting mostly figurative subjects.

His paintings of girls in natural surroundings soon became his trade mark and the popularity of his watercolours in the early 80's together with the success of his prints, limited editions and silkscreens brought him the high profile that he has today.

In 1995, his first book 'A Romance with Art' was published, with a foreward by HRH The Princess Royal, featuring a wide range of his oils and watercolours.

Gordon lives and works in his studio in Buckinghamshire which provides the backdrop for many of his paintings. He exhibits worldwide and has been featured painting live on a number of television programmes including BBC2 arts series 'Close-Up', Channel 5's 'Open House' and Sky Sports at the PGA short course championships.

He has been actively involved in charitable work having supported various charities including projects for the Save the Children Fund, painting a portrait in front of a live audience for the BBC's 'Children in Need' appeal, and painting a portrait of Norman Wisdom on the Black Watch Cruise Ship in aid of the R.N.L.I. He also donated a painting of 'Golf at Brocket Hall' which was auctioned for the Bob Wilson Willow Tree Foundation.

In 1999, to celebrate his 60th birthday, Gordon's second book 'Drawn to Life' was published featuring paintings from his exhibition at the Halcyon Gallery at the ICC, Birmingham. In addition, he received a prestigious award from the Fine Art Trade Guild who voted him 'Published Artist of the Year'. He also had a painting accepted into the Singer & Friedlander Sunday Times Watercolour Competition which exhibited in London before touring the country.

One of Gordon's most recent projects is a set of three Limited Edition prints of the dancer Darcey Bussell, signed by her, in aid of the Alzheimer's Society.

Over the years Gordon has painted in most mediums - the lushness of oils, the translucent softness of watercolour, the simplicity of pastel. Some subjects lend themselves more to one technique than another. As he works he thinks in terms of shape and colour, light to dark, dark to light, which in watercolour especially gives depth and contrast. He feels the need to explore each subject thoroughly, looking at all angles, all approaches, before determining the final image.

As a figurative artist, the human form is his big love - that moment when he sees an image coming to life on the paper or canvas is pure magic. It may be a particular pose or shape, or the way the light falls across a face in a certain way. It may even be the simple way the washes work in a purely abstract backround. The face tends to be the focal point, generating a sense of excitement as he works his way across the various features in three-dimension - the bone structure, the hair, and most importantly the eyes capturing that magic sparkle of life.

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