Tim Baynes opens his studio in Beaconsfield to us – what a treat! My son has just taken art as a GCSE option in school and we thought a visit to an artists’ studio would be a perfect inspiration. We asked Tim if he wouldn’t mind us visiting him – his response was “We can do a studio tour and pour through sketchbooks, drawings and prints – turn the world upside down and be better for it” which is exactly what we did!
His main studio is in the back of his house, overlooking the garden with amazing natural light and is perfect for working on his art.
To see an array of sketchbooks, two deep on large shelves, which include illustrations and drawings from various overseas travels, holidays and just everyday life was an inspiration in itself. How is it possible to achieve this, sometimes only with a normal ballpoint pen! Practice, practice, practice is the answer Tim tells us, draw every day.
Tim showed us how he started from pencil and crayon right through to his latest painting in oil. His finished pieces range from pen and ink, watercolour, acrylic, gouache, mono prints, lino prints and now, as we said, oils. Buildings, animals, people, food, still life – basically anything and everything.
In his studio, he showed us the various pens he uses, from a basic ball-point, right through to a Japanese Hero ink pens used a lot in manga art.
In his converted garage, is another work-space for the more messy processes. In here is a whole plan chest stuffed with wonder.
Tim’s finished artwork adorns the walls of each room of his house, making it a wonderful art gallery.
His published works include illustrations for Fallon’s Angler magazine, which is a beautifully crafted publication.
Tim and his wife Sian visited most of the cathedral’s in England and did drawings in each one, eventually publishing a book called The Cathedrals of Britain. It took years to put together and includes a timeline of the architectural styles and everyone they went too, Tim wrote a little narrative on each.
Amongst the sketchbook collection was one from a trip to Vietman where he visited the War Remnants Museum – basically the Vietnamese Government has put together all the junk the US left behind in ’76. You can go in real planes and helicopters . . .
. . . and also had an afternoon Lantern Making course – where he and his family made Chinese Lanterns.
Regarding his sketchbooks “the big thing is you stop looking at the paper and focus on the players and the marks on the pages make themselves as if by magic”. A sketchbook can be filled rather quickly, like his Orkney sketchbook which was filled in a two week holiday. Others take longer but he is rarely found without one in his pocket, together with an array of pens!
Here hangs a series of prints where he applied litho inks with a roller, cleaned the roller and then created lovely feelings on the paper – spontaneous and unplanned.
Many a time Tim looks to other artists for inspiration. He enjoys changing a pictures direction and is always trying something new. Fashion, faces, more printing techniques are just some of the things he is planning to pursue in the future – just like possibly one of the “smallest watercolours in the world” shown below.
So did the trip help as an inspiration to our son? A new sketchbook, some pens and watercolours are ready for a trip to Tring Museum next week, a great suggestion of Tim’s . . . the drawing every day has already started – thank you Tim.