Andy Dobbie is a full time professional artist living and working in Trearddur Bay on Anglesey. He paints pictures that seek to explore how we make visual sense of the physical world around us. He depicts a range of subjects in a variety of mediums, most recently developing a love of working in oils.
His artistic journey began in school, when he quickly realised he was not suited to ‘A’ Level science subjects (and especially Chemistry!) and so swiftly transferred to Art. Discovering a real enthusiasm for the subject, he took a 1 Year Art Foundation course at Coleg Normal in Bangor, where, amongst other things, he was taught drawing by Peter Prendergast and sculpture by Paul Davies.
Here Andy identified an interest in the three dimensional aspects of art but, despite being tempted to pursue sculpture more fully, he elected to pursue a degree in Industrial Design and Production at the Central School of Art and Design in London.
Sadly, this proved to be a misstep and Andy returned to Anglesey where he eventually ended up spending his working life in Manufacturing and IT, managing the implementation of complex business systems. During this period he had little opportunity to practice art, although his instinct to reach for a pencil and paper whenever faced with a difficult problem earned him a reputation as ‘someone who likes to draw boxes around things’!
Andy was inspired to take up painting again approximately 10 years ago after reading David Hockney’s various writings on art, and began spending every spare moment drawing and painting as well as attending local life drawing classes and workshops. He entered and sold work in several group shows and had one piece accepted to the Kyffin Williams Drawing Prize exhibition in 2012.
In May 2017 he finally took the plunge and gave up his career in IT to pursue his passion for art full time. Since then he has continued to work on improving his artistic practice, and maintains a dedicated 9-5 work ethic, ensuring he is in the studio practicing or creating throughout the working week and beyond.
He always starts by sketching and painting the figure or landscape from life, before returning to the studio where he seeks to reinterpret those sketches. He sometimes half-jokingly describes himself as a ‘sculptor who paints’, since he considers his current focus as being to both highlight and undermine the contradictions inherent in depicting three dimensional objects and spaces on the two dimensional picture plane.
Andy participated in his first Anglesey Arts Week Open Studios event in March 2018, during which he conducted several ‘ad-hoc’ live portrait drawing demos of any visitor who was willing to sit. He was also given the opportunity to conduct a live portrait demo at the Chester Arts Fair in November last year using a volunteer from the audience. More recently, he was invited to give a talk about his artistic journey to the Anglesey Art Group.
Andy has sold work through local shows as well as online galleries and his work is held in private and corporate collections in the UK, Malta, the USA and Australia. He also had another piece accepted to last year’s Kyffin Williams Drawing Prize exhibition.
Andy takes inspiration from artists of all eras and movements, but especially from Post-Impressionism onwards and particularly from Cubism which, he feels, still has more to offer figurative artists in the digital age. His artistic heroes include Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and David Hockney.
Andy is currently working on developing his printmaking skills using his own press, with a view to having a body of work ready for the forthcoming Anglesey Arts Week Open Studios in April of this year.