Derek Balmer looks back on a rewarding double career as painter and photographer, the latter taking him on exotic locations, while for 26 years he was official photographer to Bristol Old Vic. But above all, he says, painting has always been an obsession, an itch, 'that won't go away'.
Balmer was part of the exciting 1960s Bristol arts scene which numbered among its cast list artists, writers Tom Stoppard, ACH Smith, Peter Nichols and Charles Wood, along with Peter O'Toole and film-maker John Boorman. He wrote for the acclaimed Western Daily Press arts page.
An early Arnolfini artist, with one-man shows in the 1960s, he didn't paint full time until he gave up a lucrative photography business in middle age. After early encouragement by the Leicester Galleries - Balmer was one of their 'Artists of Fame and Promise' - Bath dealer Anthony Hepworth gave him a timely solo show and, painting full time, he currently shows at the Catto Gallery, London, the Cube Gallery in Bristol and the Campden Gallery, Chipping Campden. He has also had one-man shows in Amsterdam and The Hague.
To complement Balmer's own memoir, art critic Andrew Lambirth provides an illuminating interview while the artist and writer Anthony Smith extols 'the art of friendship'.
There are more than 200 reproductions of the artist's paintings.
This book is in excellent condition throughout.