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About the Artist Nigel Mason

Nigel Mason’s route to the top of his fine art-practising game (and with it professional acknowledgement and a fine art publishing contract to boot) is nothing if not an interesting and colourful one, which has admittedly taken in many alternative paths as it eventually weaved its way to where it is today. Born in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, and nowadays a resident of Ilfracombe in Devon, Mason spent his formative years (and the 1950s to the rest of us) teaching himself the finer aspects of painting. From roughly the age of 13-years, the critically acclaimed Mason we know and admire today was making a habit of committing to his sketchpad anything and indeed, everything which took his fancy at the time; whilst also keen observing and familiarising his eager young self with the compositional greats created by the Old Masters.

Works By Nigel Mason

  • Fond Farewell by Nigel Mason
    Fond Farewell
  • Sweet Shop by Nigel Mason
    Sweet Shop
  • Couples by Nigel Mason
    Couples
  • Cosy Chat by Nigel Mason
    Cosy Chat
  • Lift by Nigel Mason
    Lift
  • Hoola Hoop by Nigel Mason
    Hoola Hoop
  • Delivery Boy by Nigel Mason
    Delivery Boy
  • Classic by Nigel Mason
    Classic
  • Swing by Nigel Mason
    Swing
  • Sulky by Nigel Mason
    Sulky
  • Curious by Nigel Mason
    Curious
  • Busy Waiter by Nigel Mason
    Busy Waiter

Mason also chose to visit the Leeds Art Gallery as often as he could to attend various exhibitions during his teenage years, with his early years passion for art leading to an altogether more cosmopolitan adventure shortly after that when at the age of 20 Mason set his coordinates for France.

Unlike others who wished to follow a similar calling, Mason chose against journeying to the French capital by train, and instead opted to hitchhike from Leeds to Paris, with the objective being to attend a retrospective exhibition of Picasso’s works at the world-famous Louvre. How Mason arrived at his destination is tantamount to a minor miracle in itself, as he single-mindedly tracked his way to Paris by whatever means possible, all the time surviving on a diet which consisted of milk and oranges while on the road. Sleeping rough at night, Mason recalls walking for mile upon mile during the waking hours, but looks back on the episode fondly as he concluded the exhibition (and experience per se) was well worth it. You see Mason isn’t someone to do things by halves, although that said he does make a recurrent habit of almost splitting himself in two so as to achieve his multiple goals.

This is never better illustrated than by Mason’s perseverance with forging a musical career at the same time as a fine art one, which has seen him being a continued member of a Celtic rock band for the best part of two decades to date, and which has – as a pre-requisitional part – acquired Mason the musician to tour the UK, France and Germany during his tenure. What’s more, Mason and his band of merry men have also performed in their Celtic rock guise on the hallowed fields of Glastonbury on no fewer than three previous occasions. For the record, Mason remains an active member of two bands as we pen this profile. In the meantime Mason managed to find the time to become gainfully employed as a TV set designer (and sign-maker) for Yorkshire Television back in the day too, with perhaps his biggest claim to fame being a proud admission of being personally responsible for creating ‘The Woolpack’ sign for the iconic ‘Emmerdale’ pub (as seen routinely on the ITV prime time soap opera to this very day).

After his stint working in TV, Mason decided to jack it all in and return to school; or in his specific case, higher education. Ergo in his fifth decade on this planet, the somewhat eclectic Mason won himself a place on the Fine Art Degree course at Plymouth University. After graduating as a (very) mature student, Mason sought out a new career as an art teacher, where he assumed the reigns as a teacher of that very subject at North Devon College in Barnstaple. And then, to bring the story full-circle (or at least, closure to the why, when, where, which and what), Mason decided to enter fine art publishing giant, Washington Green’s annual search for new creative talent in 2015, by way of entering into its IN:SIGHT campaign. Selected as one of the 20 winners – from a field of 400 plus – Mason’s prize was a publishing deal with said professional industry representatives, all of which culminated in him and his work being put into the more recent spotlight; courtesy of his debut collection of limited edition vignettes. We did tell you that it was some creative web that Mason had weaved from the outset, if you recall.

In terms of ideas and inspirations, Mason – as you might have imagined by glimpsing his debut works which we spoke of above – was heavily influenced by the some of the biggest names in the business. Names of yore and which collectively amount to the titular, Old Masters, therefore including the revered likes of Rembrandt, Sickert, Vuillard, Degas and Whistler. Meanwhile Mason cites the landscapes, beach scenes and figurative works which he’s manifest of late to have originally drawn inspiration from his Yorkshire childhood of the 50s and when put on the spot describes his work as ‘a form of social realism, which captures incidents and which speak of human relationships and behaviour.’ On closer compositional scrutiny said ‘incidents’ are set against the backdrop of a mythical past which evokes memory and nostalgia, and by which token Mason proceeds to explain away as follows; “My work is an exploration of human interactions, both with each other and with our environment. I’d describe it as small narrative vignettes – like painting versions of film stills – which capture intimate moments in time and observations of life, from the mundane to the profound.”

Latest Artworks

Framed Size: 76 x 76 cm


Framed Size: 76 x 76 cm


Framed Size: 91 x 91 cm
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