Nottingham-based artist Michael Sheppard is showing his work at St Paul’s in Worthing in an exhibition running from June 4-25, 8.30am-4pm. Waterfalls, beaches and coastlines are his inspirations.
“Basically, the exhibition is about my journey as an artist and about my achievements from being on TV. I was on the Portrait Artist of the Year, this year and it was a fantastic experience. It was really good to have the opportunity to be there and to be known on TV for my work as an artist.
“I am a landscape painter but also a portrait painter. I incorporate the two together in my work. I reflect my own self-portraits into the landscape. I do drawings and use my observation. My project is about travelling to places where there are waterfalls and beaches and coastline. In Sussex, that was Brighton and Worthing for the coast, and I have also been to Matlock (in Derbyshire) for the waterfalls. I create works usually when I am next to waterfalls or coastlines. The water creates a sense of therapy with what I am drawing. It helps me meditate. It makes me calmer when I am working. I feel more relaxed. My drawings are about going with the sense of movement, of going with the flow.
“I am autistic. I use my art to help me. I am focused on perspective and on viewpoint, a perspective that nobody else will recognise. If I do a picture of Worthing, you would not know it was Worthing unless I label it. The drawings are my own versions of the landscape. Art lets me focus on what I want to create rather than being told what to do. I can focus on my own creations.”