Published: 25 April 2017

We asked Douglas Gray and Cate Inglis some questions about their practice, inspirations and ideas ahead of their new exhibition.


How did your career as a painter begin?

I decided at age 11 that I wanted to be a painter and I had tunnel vision about going to Art School. My career really began when I entered my work into various national level open exhibitions such as the RGI and the SSA and began winning prizes. From there my career has really taken off and am now showing regularly with great galleries all over the country.

What's the best advice given to you as an artist?

I think the best advice I have been given is to put all my focus on pursuing my painting career. Once I started painting full time, the career I wanted fell into place.

Do you have any studio rituals?

I am a bit obsessive about keeping my brushes in good condition for the sake of precision, and I do prefer to work alone as my work requires sustained levels of concentration. I work at an architects drawing board rather than an easel which is quite unusual for a painter.

Who/what are your current inspirations?

My current obsession is the disused land and urban wildernesses surrounding industrial sites. I am finding the work of Dominique Cameron, Tonie Rigby, Frank Hobbs, Anna King and Mari French inspirational at the moment.Joan Eardley is also one of my current inspirations.

How do you choose the subject matter for your work?

I look for places with combinations of different textures and surfaces and an atmosphere of emptiness. Mostly I go on site visits to areas that I know have potential and discover the subjects that way, but sometimes I'll see great subjects when I'm not really looking for them. I have learned never to leave the house without a camera.


How did your career as a painter begin?

I was interested in drawing from a very early age, I remember looking at objects in my parents home at around 5 years of age and imagining drawing and even shading them in my mind. My father is a keen amateur artist so this inspired me too. I spent 20 years as an illustrator but got out when computers took over. I never intended to substitute a pencil for a mouse - it wasn't for me.

Do you have any studio rituals?

I draw a lot outside but prefer to paint in the studio, however I often paint small oil studies outside. I use only Winsor & Newton artists oils. I guess you get use to a brand and stick to it, for me painting is hard enough without dealing with too many choices, this also applies to concentrating on just oil painting for me. Some artists like to use all manner of materials but I prefer oil paint but use all manner of techniques with it. I also nearly always listen to music when I paint to help with the energy it creates with brushwork usually something heavy at first like Metallica or Motorhead then cool it down with classical or Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream for the details. It's all part of the creative process for me and is very important.

Who/what are your current inspirations?

Marine art is my big passion. I have lived by the sea for 40 years so cannot help but be inspired by it. Painters that have particularly influenced me are John Singer Sargent, Turner, Constable, Seago Ivan Shishkin, Ralph Goings and Edward Hopper because they are masters at what they do.

How do you choose the subject matter and composition for your work?

I like light and atmosphere - be it city, figurative or marine in subject. Most compositions just happen, I do still think like an Illustrator and was trained in Advertising Design, sometime thistends to 'infiltrate' my work but mostly on a subconscious level.

Douglas Gray & Cate Inglis - Ideas of Beauty runs from 27th April - 13th of May.

View the entire exhibition online here, or visit us at 3 Seymour Place, London, W1H 5AZ.