An Interview with Rod Buckle from Scarborough, England

Rod Buckle is a retired educator turned professional watercolor painter in Scarborough, England. Because Rod lives and paints on the north east coast of England – just on the shore of the North Sea – his paintings are generally of things dealing with the coast, the water, fishing and tourist attractions.

I love Rod’s reasoning for never creating prints. He says since the people that buy his paintings, presumably while on vacation in his corner of the world, are paying for a watercolor painting they deserve an original not a print. I couldn’t agree more. He also says that by following that reasoning it has led him to strive for a unique perspective on every one of his works to make something compelling and desirable to those who buy his paintings.

You may remember Rod’s work being featured here on The Watercolor Gallery last month. I featured Down to the beach because of the way Rod painted it a few times before he got something he was satisfied with. Something I’m striving to do now as well.

Rod was nice enough to take a few minutes out of his schedule to answer some questions for all of us – so lets get started.

Rod, how did you get started in watercolor?

“I began at an Arts Society then had painting holidays in Girona Spain with Don Glynn and Alvaro Castegnet. As I live on the North East coast of England within walking distance of wonderful beaches and cliffs I am soilt for inspiration. Because I sell my work through local galleries to tourists I need to paint almost daily. This constant activity both Plein Aire and in the studio is the best methodology both for developing technique and creative compositional arrangements. I believe that everyone who buys one of my paintings deserves an original and so I will never produce prints of my work. As I am fortunate to sell nearly everything I place in the galleries this ensures that I am kept busy.”

How have your tools changed from when you got started until now, and what are your favorite tools currently?

“I used to buy all kinds of rubbish as a knee jerk reaction to all the nonsense one reads as a novice in magazines and books by so called “experts” who are only trying to sell their “special ” brush for painting trees or their “special” paint range for doing landscapes.

Now I use only Arches paper and three squirrel mops in the studio and four Da Vinci travel sables when painting Plein Aire.”

How do you prefer to work? Plein air, from a photograph, from memory? At a desk, outdoors, in a closet?

“I like to work Plein Aire where possible but sometimes I use pen and ink sketches with quick washes which I take back to my “studio” to create a watercolour. I use photos but only as a very rough guide and change them dranatically as I hate the flat perspective and total focus they give. e.g How many times have you taken a photo of a magnificent view only to view it at home and thought what on earth did I see in that view?

I take a leave out of Canelletto’s book and will move buildings,rivers and people in , pout and around to create my “improvement” on nature.”

What has been your favorite painting or painting experience?

“Every painting, every day all offer some joy, discovery or realisation not to do that again!”

Perhaps you could let us all know of an artist that has inspired you?

Charles Reid

I can’t thank Rod enough for taking the time to do this interview and for sharing his lovely work with all of us here on the web. Traveling to Scarborough, England – solely due to Rod’s paintings – is now on my to do list.

Rod shares his work on both this website and also on Flickr where you can even look through some of his own private collection.