The Natural World - Southern Hemicube

Acrylic and pencil

The Natural World - Northern Hemicube

Acrylic and pencil

Paul Critchley

Paul Critchley was born in the UK in 1960. Both his parents were art teachers, his father was the principal of St.Helens College of Art and Design where Paul did his Foundation Course before doing Fine Art at Coventry Poly.

Knowing that getting a job in the real world with a degree in Fine Art would mean teaching art then the only option to experience something other than the circle of academia: school, art school, school, was to jump into the unknown. So he put whatever coins he had in his pocket from the three years of part time jobs and jumped off the White Cliffs of Dover and moved to West Berlin in 1985. He didn't know anyone, didn't speak the language and lived in splendid isolation for nine months and painted. It was here that he started working on irregular shaped canvases showing the interior of his 35m2 apartment fifteen minutes walk from Check Point Charlie.

Whilst at night school to learn German he met a French couple who invited him to live on a farm in the south of France to drive tractors and paint, which he did for six months. There he met some Dutch people so he moved to Holland for 2.5 years and painted when not offloading cheese from a lorry every Wednesday and washing others every Saturday. Whilst in Holland he had his 1st solo show in Hilden near Cologne. A gallery in Cologne then showed his paintings three times.

As a consequence of his jaunt in France he met an English artist who recommended him to his galley in London which offered him a solo show in 1990. At the opening an Italian man offered to swap the keys to his house in Padua for five months for one of his paintings. Ecco la dolce vita. Whist there he met yet another English artist who introduced him to his dealer who, in 1991, bought all the Italian paintings. Paul returned to Padua later that year and sold most of the Berlin and Dutch paints too.

A friend of his parents, also an art teacher, had a small house somewhere in Spain and for £100 per month Paul rented it for six years before moving to Barcelona for another eleven. In Spain he met a gallery who published a book about his paintings in 1996, Paul was so happy with this that in 2006 he published another one by himself. While in Barcelona Paul was commissioned to paint twenty four paintings for the P&O Cruise liner the Ventura.

After seventeen years in Spain, eleven in a city of three million, he and his Irish wife decided it was time for a little adventure and so in 2008 moved to a village of 600 inhabitants in the Abruzzo region of Italy. This year Paul was invited by Patrick Hughes to be his choice for Artist of the Day at Flowers Gallery in Cork Street. The circle of Fine Art: chance, react, unpredictable.