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Artists CV    artwork
Ralph  Shephard

I was born in 1954 in Leeds, West Yorkshire. From being very young I can always remember having a burning desire to be creative, and would draw, paint or sculpt, given an opportunity. As a child I was extememly intoverted, and art really was the one way in which I could fully express myself, prove my metal. Subconsciously, a lot of these earliest traits I think, have a lot to do with how and why I work nowadays. It all has a lot to do with what drives me on so insatiably.

In 1970 I did a ground and foundation course in art at Northwich School of Art, and then went on to do a fine Art course at then infamous Leeds Polytechnic. Thecourse at that time was radically innovative in the extreme, braking every conceivable rule, and totally challenging the art establishement. To a large extent, I thought 'so what'. I didn't feel that the need to be outlandish fitted into my own scheme of things, and wa looking for something far deeper and more satysfying.

American Art had a considerable influence on my painting when I was younger, and still does to this day. Mostly Edward Hopper, Andrew Wyeth and Frederick Edwin Church, Charles Sheeler, Philip Pearlstein and the Photo Realist of the 70's. This interest was cemented into place when I was 18 and I had a lenghty summer stay thee in 1972. I had the opportunity to see what inspired me in the cult road movies. As an impressionable romantic I fell totaly in love with the landscape, of diners, gas station, and solitude of the more 'off the beaten track' places I visited.

Apart from American influences over the years there has always been the other side to my artistic outlook. I have always admired some of the works of the Pre-Raphaelites.

For years I have been doing various things such as illustrations, graphics, model making and giants props for television. I have also lectured art. For all these years I have been of course painting and my main interests have been: portraits and a female form and te large landscapes, mostly of a British locations.