David A Parfitt RI was born in Cornwall but lives near Bath. He is a landscape painter, working with watercolours and water-based media. Although David knew that he wanted to draw and paint from an early age, it was many years before he could devote himself full time to painting (working as a civil servant for 27 years).
‘I had no art training and am totally self taught, but managed to paint while working and I eventually started selling my work in local galleries. This encouraged me to make the change to part time working so I could develop my painting further full time as an artist in 2007, helped by the fact that our children had left home’.
David was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours in 2011.
David A Parfitt RI won The Neil Meacher Sketching Prize in the RI 200 Exhibition (2012), the Frank Herring award in 2014 and the Winsor & Newton award in 2016 for ‘the group of paintings judged to be the most outstanding contribution to the exhibition’.
I am passionate about watercolour, with its fluidity and uncontrollable nature; to find how the medium can be used to express and convey a feeling for the moods and atmosphere of the landscape. Although my work is placed within the traditional or representational sphere, my aim is to create something which has a sense of place without looking too contrived or deliberate. The whole approach is about experimenting and developing as I attempt to push the water-based medium as far as I can without the use of opaque or white pigment.
In the past few years, I have found that I spend the majority of my time working in the studio whereas previously I completed around 60% of my work en plen-air. I still believe that it is essential to work on paintings outdoors, with the challenge to get things done quickly and simply, but more often than not these days, I take long walks with my sketchbook, a small box of watercolours and a camera (my phone). I use the sketches and photographs back in the studio to make paintings and monoprints giving thought to experimentation or to work purely from memory.