Biography for Michael Coulter (1937)
Michael Coulter was born in 1937 and grew up in the Welsh Marches and the Peak District. All his watercolours have a distinctive style influenced due by his training in illustration and printmaking. Using his own techniques in handling design, pattern and colour Michael has developed a light-hearted look at life, more often than not in East Anglia that pleases and delights. Inspired by his love affair with a living landscape, sea shores, boats & estuaries, many of his paintings will resonate with those who share an appreciation of the sights & traditions associated to the region.
A strong element of Michael’s style is to paint scenes which are packed with a subtle narrative expressed in the detail. It is always a living beautiful landscape, typically involving people going on a walk, getting their boat in the water, harvesting the land, or taking a dip in the water. Each painting exhibits charm & joy. Wildlife naturally features in his compositions – reflecting his knowledge and love of the subject. A broad diversity of birds regularly appears slightly larger than life causing the picture to come alive, adding depth movement and character. Some paintings enjoy a hint of nostalgia as an occasional steam train may be seen chugging through the landscape on a glorious day.
Michael suggests that his stylised interpretation is just how he sees the world and is probably influenced by the old railway posters from the 1920s and 30s and his attraction to naive paintings. Absolute fact is not needed to be exactly replicated, yet the final product feels more real than ever. It was after visiting an Edward Bawden and Eric Ravillious exhibition at The Minories Gallery in Colchester many years ago that Michael was encouraged to pursue his own individual take on the world.
In 1987 he took early retirement from teaching at Woolverstone Hall School to take up painting full time. Very quickly people were starting to recognise his name and work so he was able to establish himself as an artist very easily. Over the years he has held over 20 one-man exhibitions, mostly in Suffolk and Dorset, but also London and Washington DC. The many Galleries that have shown his work include the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions between 1983 and '86; Royal Society of Painters in the Watercolour Open Exhibition, the Ruth Lowe Gallery, Wrexham; the Peter Hedley Gallery, Wareham and the John Russell Gallery, Ipswich many times.