Sally Medcalf thanks her Wanstead High School art teachers for inspiring her creativity, which will be on show during the 10th Art Trail Wanstead next month
I was born and grew up in Wanstead, and was lucky to attend Wanstead High School, which has a fantastic art department. We had some great teachers – Phil Tootell, Don Campbell and Dave Hall – who were a big influence on me and gave me so much encouragement. They were very enthusiastic and inspired me to develop my art, experiment and push boundaries.
I did my foundation course at Sir John Cass School of Art, studied graphics and illustration at East Ham College of Technology, then worked in a graphic design studio. More recently, I have been attending a class at Wanstead House, which has given me a fresh perspective and has inspired me to challenge myself and experiment with different media and new ways of working to develop a more personal style. I will be showing some of my new work at Wanstead House as part of our group show.
Wanstead was a great place to grow up. I loved the outdoors and spent a lot of time in Wanstead Park and by the River Roding, which gave me an appreciation of nature. I seek to capture a sense of place. I love the landscapes of Essex, Suffolk and the North Norfolk coast, and I like to paint places that give a sense of peace and tranquillity, almost dream-like, in which time seems to stand still. I work in watercolour on board and I like the subtle colours of nature. I also like urban street scenes and like to paint and take photographs in Whitechapel and Spitalfields.
My biggest influence is Impressionist art, and contemporary artists I admire include John Tookey, Roger Dellar, Jan Munro and Mike Bernard. My work has been shown at The Association of Illustrators’ gallery, Leytonstone Arts Festival and Changing Room gallery, among others. And this year, I will be exhibiting at The Larder for Art Trail Wanstead.