Artists at Home 2024: Derek Siddle

Images: Derek Siddle, Derek’s painting of Hammersmith Bridge in 2015

Landscape artist Derek Siddle joins Artists at Home 2024

Artists at Home 2024 takes place next weekend, from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon (14-16 June), when around 100 local artists will be opening their homes to invite visitors in to see their work.

From painters to sculptors, photographers to ceramicists, the event offers art enthusiasts the opportunity to explore a diverse range of artistic talents within their own neighbourhood.

This year, Derek Siddle is making his debut in the event, bringing his unique perspective as a landscape painter to the community.

Image: Ionic Temple – Chiswick House Oil on Canvas A3

“Art for me has always been a solitary thing”

Though Derek has lived in Chiswick for almost 30 years, he has never sought to participate in Artists at Home, as since 1995 he had a full-time job working in the video game industry.

He was partly convinced to take part by his sister-in-law, who has often been to Artists At Home, along with his friends who help to organise it. He has always pursued painting as a hobby, but since resigning from the long-time role in the industry in which he made his career, he has found more time to focus on his art, and knowing many people involved with Artists at Home, his participation seemed like a natural progression.

He has showed his work at St Michael and All Angels in Chiswick, and has some on display in The Tabard pub.

“Mostly, art for me has always been a solitary thing in my spare time,” he told The Chiswick Calendar. “So it’s been great to meet up with [other artists] for coffees and meet them at the various shows and galleries that happen around Chiswick.”

Originally from Bishop Auckland in the North-East of England, Derek mostly paints landscapes, often inspired by his home town or by the River Thames and places along the Thames Path.

“For a long time, I would just paint the North-East, but as I’ve lived here over the last 20-30 years, I started to grow and love the section of river from Hammersmith near Putney Bridge all the way up to Richmond, maybe Twickenham as well.”

He is also a former long-distance runner, and has run along the river many times. On his runs, he would appreciate the beauty of the views from the towpath, especially at certain times of the day when the light filters through the trees.

“It’s just a really wonderful area to paint”.

Image: Harrods Furniture Depository Oil on Canvas 14″ X 20″

Inspired by classical landscape painters

Derek’s creative process involves heading out to familiar locations at optimal times for light and shadows, either around 10 o’clock in the morning or 4 o’clock in the afternoon. He sketches minimally but says he takes hundreds of photographs, often doing a quick painting on the spot to capture the light and shadows, then using photos to fill in the details later.

He doesn’t complete his paintings in one sitting to avoid muddying the colours, relying on his design training from art college in Hartlepool and University College of Huddersfield, where he studied Product Design.

As a child, Derek says he was inspired by the likes of John Constable and J. M. W. Turner, though stresses not by Thomas Gainsborough – something which he feels is something of a cliche.

“Turner and Constable captured the two sides of landscapes that I really liked. Constable captured the greens, while Turner seemed to capture the mornings and events and brilliant colours. I try to straddle those two.”

Now, he finds inspiration in the vast array of amazing imagery on Instagram, which he says we all are “constantly bombarded” by.

Image: Bishops park – Fulham Oil on Canvas A3

“It’s more personal because you’re exposing yourself…” says Derek on Artists at Home

Derek is not apprehensive about sharing his artwork, as he has had his work on display at The Tabard for the past six months, so he says he is used to showing his work to the public.

“I play football on a Tuesday and I know the landlady. She said, ‘I follow you on Instagram, can I put your paintings on display?’”

Despite this, he admits to feeling more nervous about the personal nature of inviting people into his home to view his art.

“It’s more personal because you are exposing yourself in a way that makes you a bit nervous.

“I’m not really nervous about my art because I think it stands up. It’s more about the event I’m nervous about rather than what people think of my artwork.”

Where to find Derek

Derek is at Studio 36 on Hatfield Road.

The studio is on the ground floor.

There are two small steps to access the property and a short corridor into the open plan back room. All artwork will be on display in that space on the ground floor.

“We have a grumpy cat who is likely to be hidden away” says Derek, “and sorry no dogs please.”