New arts so­ci­ety pres­i­dent cre­ates it all

Cambridge Edition - - OUT & ABOUT - EMMA JAMES

From paint­ing, to pho­tog­ra­phy, and even bon­sai, Cam­bridge man Lindsay Muir­head does it all.

He was re­cently named as the new pres­i­dent of the Cam­bridge Arts So­ci­ety.

Orig­i­nally from the South Is­land, Muir­head has many land­scape pho­tos that he has turned into in­cred­i­ble oil paint­ings.

He be­gan paint­ing in the early 1980s and learned by watch­ing other artists and ask­ing them ques­tions.

‘‘If you en­joy some­thing enough and put enough prac­tise in, it can hap­pen.

‘‘I must have had a bit of artis­tic flair in me which goes back to sec­ondary school, art was my best sub­ject,’’ he said.

He fol­lowed an artist called Jonathan White, who pub­lished a book called Majestic Wild­ness.

Muir­head re­mem­bers it cost­ing a fair bit, but he ‘‘drooled’’ over the book and tried to recre­ate that style of art­work with his own flair.

Now he is re­tired and spends most of him time paint­ing, pho­tograph­ing and cre­at­ing bon­sai trees.

He is part of the Cam­bridge Cam­era Club.

‘‘It’s dif­fer­ent to paint­ing, but pho­tog­ra­phy is an art, it is sim­i­lar in the way that you are cre­at­ing light and you are cre­at­ing an im­age,’’ he said.

‘‘If you in­vest in your­self, you gain the ben­e­fit of it.’’

He started planting bon­sai trees about 21 years ago and spe­cialises in Sho­hin Bon­sai, which are trees un­der 25 cen­time­tres tall.

Some of trees are 40 to 50 years old.

‘‘Again it’s an­other art form, it’s about grow­ing a big type of tree in a small pot, you are mak­ing art out of na­ture,’’ Muir­head said.

He first saw them at a gar­den ex­hi­bi­tion in Christchurch and pur­chased his first bon­sai. He still has that tree to­day. Now they cover his back yard. ‘‘Some peo­ple say I’m a lit­tle ad­dicted,’’ he laughed.

A bon­sai is cre­ated by start­ing with a cut­ting, seedling, or small tree suit­able for bon­sai de­vel­op­ment - nearly any stemmed tree or shrub species that pro­duces branches.

He is now think­ing about hold­ing bon­sai work­shops for peo­ple in the com­mu­nity who may be in­ter­ested in learn­ing more about the art form.

Cam­bridge Arts So­ci­ety Pres­i­dent Lindsay Muir­head work­ing on a cur­rent paint­ing. In­set: One of his Sho­hin Bon­sai trees.

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