Dedham Art & Craft Centre on TripAdvisor

Alison Burchert

I have always had a passion for drawing people, studying the translucency of the skin from the angelic glow of a child's face to the weathered texture of a life time of toil.

Encouraged as a small child by an artistic mother, I always sketched family members and pets, being able to capture a good likeness. From school through to college, my ability to draw became apparent and was recognised throughout my home town of Colchester in Essex. I had taken to pastels after years of painting in watercolour. The transition happened when working on a portrait... With watercolours I couldn't keep the smooth texture of the skin and the more I worked at it, the rougher the 'skin' got. Frustrated, I picked up a box of pastels that I'd had from college and almost closed my eyes as I chalked over the face I'd been working on for hours, cringing with the fear of having to throw the whole picture in the bin... I smudged it over with my finger. The result was amazingly smooth and definitely 'skin' like. I put away the watercolours and invested in many shades of quality pastes”. In 1997 and keen to enter into the art world, I offered my services to organisations to produce promotional portraits which came with good media coverage and helped my business catapult within its first year. I was introduced to various artists and teachers and was offered a place to work alongside Royal portrait artist Richard Stone who had admired my work through the local press. In 2003 I took up teaching art within local clubs and private classes, holding exhibitions and encouraging 11 to 16 year olds to develop their artistic talents with workshops using different mediums.

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