Nuts art about
Nigel Wallace loves creating beautiful artworks of Norfolk scenes, but his career started out in a rather different direction
ARTIST Nigel Wallace, who produced the beautiful cover image on this month’s issue, learned the nuts and bolts of drawing by drawing... nuts and bolts.
He spent 20 years working as a technical illustrator for an aerospace company, drawing highly detailed pieces such as exploded engines. He had found his way into the studio after, in his words, he “drifted through school and ended up at art college, where all drifters end up, studying technical graphics.”
But within that environment were a number of artists who encouraged him to pick up his brush and paint. “I was always interested in art and in what other people were doing. I learned a lot from them and spent a lot of spare time painting.”
A pivotal moment came when he did a painting of his house. “A friend saw it and said ‘can you do me one?’ So I did and I spent ten years painting part-time. It built up and then I took early retirement and went for it.”
Nigel’s style, seen on the cover and in the works on these pages, was inspired by the beautiful classic travel posters which were popular, particularly with the railway companies, between the 20s and the 60s. “I like to visit a place and get the atmosphere, take some photographs and do some sketches. Then its back to the computer to create the artwork.”
His business, White One Sugar, is very much a family affair; daughter Karen (whose tea preference is the inspiration for the business name) is a photographer and artist, son Neil draws and wife Tina left a teaching career to help out with administration and other vital tasks to keep things running smoothly. As well as his poster art Nigel is a skilled illustrator, with a large collection of drawings, and a photographer as well.
He fell for Norfolk when the family had a holiday in the county and he produced some of his work which he sold through an art shop at Creake Abbey. His favourite spot is Holkham.
“We love going to Holkham in September, we love the diversity of the place, the wildlife and birds; we’re introducing the grandkids to it all!”
He has plans to expand his coverage of the coast, through Burnham Overy Staithe to Cromer and Happisburgh’s iconic lighthouse.