Roger Gadd was born near Manchester in 1961 but has lived in Sunderland since 1986. He has always painted landscapes and has tried to develop his skills over the years at many classes and courses. Many of his paintings are completed on the spot as this encourages a fresher and more spontaneous response. Watercolours lend themselves to working outdoors and these paintings often provide the inspiration and reference for his studio work in watercolour, oils or sometimes acrylics, pastels or mixed media.
A holiday in 1995 led to a love of the landscape of the Western Isles. Roger has returned ever since and always finds new aspects to paint. In particular, the colour of the sand, the rocks and the sea provide endless inspiration and challenge. It is impossible to do justice to the beauty of nature but he loves to try. Commissions and sales have led Roger to produce greetings cards and a calendar each year for each of his favourite islands of Harris and Barra.
A few years ago, Roger became a little dissatisfied with some of the watercolours he was painting outside. His work was becoming more detailed and precise, whereas what he wanted to achieve was a freer and looser style. He decided to use more mixed media; pastel over watercolour, which makes it possible to draw in a spontaneous and vigorous manner. Roger felt that these paintings were a step in the right direction. Then a cold week’s painting holiday in the Western Isles in May 2015 proved to be a turning point. The solution should really have been obvious. He decided to work in pastel alone, on the traditional coloured paper, as this would allow a painting to be finished in the shortest time, given the cold conditions. These plein-air pastels are some of Roger’s personal favourites.