Paul Winner insists he is only a “pretend artist”. But you might beg to differ when you see his work on show in a new exhibition at Arundel Museum – a venue he is keen to support.
Paul carries his sketching materials and watercolours wherever he goes and has amassed an extraordinary collection of sketchbooks, paintings, drawings and prints chronicling the places he has visited and the personalities he has encountered.
Paul has donated more than 50 pictures to Arundel Museum; all money raised from his exhibition (January 23-March 4, 10am-4pm) will be used to support the museum’s work.
“I am very happy to help the museum which I think is a great institution,” Paul says.
“What has happened is that the museum is not just a chance to delve back into the history of Arundel and what the Norfolks have done.
“It is also the most remarkable history in the UK and how it links up to every part of Europe. We are facing Brexit with such horror. Hopefully we can retain our links and our historical connections which are highlighted through the dynamic work of the museum.
“They do history very well indeed, and I love the way they do it.
“But also, under their inspired leadership they do wonderful work with young artists, with the exhibition they had there earlier this year.
“They had some brilliant young artists there. They are using art in a way that enriches the experience of those that come to look at it but also in a way that encourages the genius and the talent of the young people that are making it and also enhances their connection with their environment.”
This is the work that Paul is keen to support with his own exhibition at the venue.
“But I regard myself only as being a pretend artist,” he insists. “I have never had to earn a living from it.
“A proper artist will devote his life to it and spend his whole life developing his art. I don’t think my art has developed very much since I was at university studying law.
“But I found that if I sketched what was around me, then I remembered it. I just scribble away and I find that it releases my creative instincts and that in turn helps you earn a living.
“I have been in Arundel since 1976 and we are probably among the longest-serving people in West Sussex.
“The theme of the exhibition is Sussex scenes which I have scribbled over the years. I have given 50 of them to the museum and they have managed to find somebody that has done an amazing job of mounting these unframed pictures so they are presented in a fashion which does justice to them.
“I do have to say a very big thank you for the way that they have done that.”
Paul is also well known for his “scribblings” of various music events, the old Music at Boxgrove series, the Arundel Festival and the Petworth Festival among them.
“My wife banishes me from her at these events because she says you can’t listen to music and scribble away at the same time, but I think you can.
“And I love doing it! And I hope these scribblings will now benefit a really good local cause and also perhaps trigger an appreciation of our Sussex landscapes.”
Free entry. Donations to Arundel Museum welcome.