Artist of the week: Manchester-born Nathan Pendlebury becomes THIRD in family tree to follow painting path

By Tim Hyde

The creative talents of Manchester-born artist Nathan Pendlebury have come naturally to him… after all he is following his father’s and grandfather’s esteemed and accomplished painting skills.

Nathan and his father Anthony, from the Erpen Gallery, will showcase their paintings alongside prints of their late Grandfather and father Eric Pendlebury at Buy Art Fair from September 26 to 29 at Spinningfields, Manchester.

Buy Art Fair, and its sister event The Manchester Contemporary, have grown to be the largest contemporary art fair outside London and Nathan has expressed his excitement for the upcoming festival.

“I am involved in putting on regular exhibitions, and commission work that comes my way, but this is the main event of the year for me,” he said.

“It is an opportunity to meet people who want to buy art. It is also a great opportunity to make connections, and network, you never know what opportunities arise with people who visit your stand at the event.

“For my art it also enables me to connect one-to-one with the client, and view their reactions and for them to meet me too.”

From an early age Nathan wanted to follow the family tradition setting his sights on becoming an artist.

Nathan said: “My dad always loved art and encouraged me when I showed an interest in it too. It all started when I was 3 or 4 using a chalk easel drawing monsters faces.”

The artistic gene that runs in the family originated with Grandfather Eric who died aged 52 when Nathan was only three years old.

“My grandfather was a very creative soul, he could play you a tune on the piano after hearing it only once, he was always making things for me as a kid, he made stools, cricket bats, and produced drawings of landscape and people on walls when we stripped wall paper,” he said.

“He would also paint late into the night when everyone else was in bed using a kitchen knife and a bit of board instead of a canvas, having to clean the knife for the breakfast table.”

“My Dad always spoke of my granddad and his legacy lived on after him, in the form of paintings on family member’s walls and stories of his life,” Nathan said.

“I’m very proud to exhibit alongside my father and late Grandfather.  It would be amazing to discover more of my grandfather’s paintings as, although he died when I was very young, his work continues to be a great influence on me.”

Over the years Nathan has expressed his art through mediums such as photography as he works for National Museums Liverpool in their photography section full time.

He said: “Although some of my new works on Polaroid are quite different to previous work, I see my new photographs as a natural progression, they felt right.

“An artist should try new things whenever he can, it keeps you fresh, and hopefully this will push me further and forward into other new things, new subjects and new mediums?

“After all Picasso tried his hand at Ceramics didn’t he? And there is an artist that everyone should aspire to.”

Nathan also finds the time to indulge in commissioned projects for the likes of John Lewis (Liverpool), Bruntwood (Liverpool), and Riverbank House (London).

His unique work is distinct due to his combination of modern and classic painting techniques using a mixture of spray and acrylic paint to add depth.

“Even though my Dad did not paint for himself after he left art school for 40 years or so, the art was still there on a practical level, my dad would also take me to Museums and Galleries,” he said.

In 2003, Anthony took up art again after being medically retired from his job with Nathan happy that ‘art is a part of both our lives now more than ever’.

Nathan hopes that the Buy Art Fair can help him in the future and allow him to continue with commissioned works and expand his art abroad.

He said: “I would of course like to continue with the commissions, and also show more in London and overseas. I am currently looking for Gallery representation at the Affordable Art Fairs.” 

All images courtesy of Nathan Pendlebury, with thanks.

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