Fifteen years ago a poster calling for help in launching an arts festival in Melbourne was spotted by Patrick Prentice’s wife Cynthia and she went to a community meeting to find out more about it.
Within weeks she came home to announce volunteered to organise what was to become an annual visual arts open exhibition.
“When she came back and told me I replied: ‘But you don’t know anything about exhibiting art.’ She laughed and said: ‘No, but you do and we an do it together,’ ” explained Patrick.
“We hung the open exhibition with other volunteers from then on and got a lot of pleasure from it every year and watching the festival grow.
“We have taken a step back now and others have taken on the job but we still get involved with promoting it.”
Despite being a stalwart of the festival mechanics all this time Patrick has never actually exhibited his own award-winning work – that is until this year.
The current team have persuaded him to be part of the Art and Architecture Trail on September 14 and 15 and he admits that he is looking forward to joining in.
“It will be different to be talking about my work and meeting the visitors to the trail,” he said.
Patrick was born in Glasgow and started his art training at Carlisle College of Art followed by four years at Edinburgh College of Art.
“While I was there I won the Royal Scottish Academy Young Contemporaries’ Chalmers Bursary Award and accepted a post-graduate scholarship which included a studio of my own in a beautiful Georgian townhouse.
“I had a marvellous time there and learned a great deal but it was a summer Travelling Scholarship to Italy that really influenced the way I paint and draw. The trip sparked a love of travelling in me – especially to the Mediterranean and the Caribbean where you can find a special light that brings magic to any subject.”
Like many artists, Patrick needed to earn a living and he taught art for more than 25 years before taking early retirement.
He continued to paint for pleasure while he worked but says he couldn’t give his all to teaching and painting so it is only in the last few years that he has developed his own work. He now has his own studio at Banks Mill, in Derby.
“Now I want to make painting part of my enjoyment of life. I am not a prolific painter and I do not want to churn them out but I am doing more work.”
“My wife paints and draws as well and we like to travel to Cornwall where I am intrigued by the shapes found around the harbours. I suppose my themes are marine life and seascapes.
“I have said in the past that my paintings are postcards of my travels.”
Patrick exhibits both nationally and internationally with recent exhibitions including The Royal Society of Marine Artists at Mall Galleries, London. You can see more of his work at patrickprenticeartist.com
To find out more about the Melbourne Festival and the other artists exhibiting their work this year go to http://www.melbournefestival.co.uk