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Nigel Mason's art is inspired by his childhood in 1950s Yorkshire. His touching vignettes capture the everyday interactions that we hold dear.

History and Background

From the age of 13, Nigel Mason taught himself to paint by drawing the things around him and taking inspiration from the Old Masters. He frequented the Leeds art gallery as a teenager, and his passion for art took him on a cross-country adventure at the age of 20 when he hitch-hiked from Leeds to Paris to view the Picasso retrospective exhibition in the Louvre. With no money, he lived on milk and oranges, slept rough at nights and walked for miles during the days – but he says it was all worth it!

Nigel also harbours a passion for music, and was a member of a Celtic rock band for over 20 years, touring England, France and Germany and playing at the Glastonbury festival three times. He is still a member of two bands today.

He went onto work as a set designer and sign-maker for Yorkshire TV, and amongst his various accomplishments he created the sign for Emmerdale’s The Woolpack pub.

Nigel attained a Fine Art degree from Plymouth University in his 50s and went on to have a successful career teaching art at the North Devon College in Barnstaple, before successfully applying to our IN:SIGHT competition. 

He currently lives in Ilfracombe, Devon. 

Ideas and Inspirations

Nigel paints a variety of landscapes, beach scenes and figurative works, drawing inspiration from his childhood growing up in 1950s Yorkshire. He cites a wide range of artistic influences, including: Rembrandt, Sickert, Vuillard, Degas and Whistler.

He considers his work as a form of social realism, capturing incidents which speak of human relationships and behaviour. These incidents are set against the backdrop of a mythical past which evokes memory and nostalgia.

Nigel explains: “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.”