Our OVAS President, Phil Creek
Since 2015 we are proud to have Phil Creek BA, ATD, SWAc as our president.
Phil is an accomplished and widely exhibited West Country artist, based in East Devon. He is the chair of the SouthWest Academy and has a wealth of experience as a schools arts advisor. He is best known for his paintings depicting the places, people and landscape of Britain, Europe and the USA.
Phil is an advocate of plein air painting and lives and works predominantly in East Devon surrounded by the landscape that continues to inspire him.
Phil has had a long career in the arts from first studying fine art at the University of Manchester in the early seventies through to his final full time post as County Adviser for Art and Design in the county of Devon. He has paintings in private collections in Spain, the USA and the UK and has exhibited in The Mall Gallery, London, The Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exeter Phoenix and The Gloss Gallery, Exeter, so the society is very pleased to have such an eminent practitioner as its president.
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Former Otter Vale Art Society President - Ray Balkwill
It was John Ruskin, the eminent English art critic of the Victorian era, who advocated that artists should be true to nature and that they should love what they paint and paint what they love. The distinguished local artist and president of the Otter Vale Art Society, Ray Balkwill, holds true to these principles to this day, which is amply demonstrated by his very popular paintings of the Exe estuary and the surrounding area.
In an illustrated talk to OVAS, Ray showed that his art is the result of a voyage of discovery, not in reaching new horizons but in opening his eyes to what is all around us. Ray took the audience on a virtual trip round his beloved Exe estuary illustrated by his paintings. He mostly paints outdoors and often battles with wind, rain and noise to achieve the degree of authenticity which is evident in his work.
Ray works in watercolours, oils and mixed media and his paintings are much sought after. Born in Exeter in 1948, he graduated from Exeter College of Art, thereafter making a career in advertising as an Art Director. In 1990 demand for his paintings led him to give up his job to become a professional artist. He has held numerous successful solo exhibitions and runs painting courses in Essex, Cornwall and from his studio in Exmouth. He is the author of six books including 'Ray Balkwill's Exe Estuary' and 'A Picture of Devon' (Halsgrove).
Left: Ray displays some of his work at the OVAS meeting in the Institute, November 2013.