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    After following a Foundation Course at Dyfed College of Art in 1982, I went on to Technical Illustration in Swansea. The course had a wide-ranging skills-based approach. These included analytical drawing, measuring point perspective and life drawing, alongside the disciplines required to produce technical constructions, cutaways and exploded views of engines, vehicles, and the like. I also learned airbrushing and photo retouching.

    On completion of the four-year course, I worked as a designer/illustrator for an advertising agency and was employed as a part-time lecturer in analytical drawing. I later worked as a life drawing tutor on the Foundation course in Swansea. I subsequently completed FETC and PGCE teaching qualifications.

    I re-trained as a Graphic Designer gaining my BA (Hons) in 1997 and have been running my own design company ever since. In 2011 I returned, part-time, to education to complete an MA in Visual Communication (Contemporary Dialogues). I taught various design disciplines for over ten years.

    For all that time I have run or attended regular life drawing sessions, working in graphite, watercolour, pastels, or coloured pencils.

    I have been painting portraits in oils for several years now and am constantly developing my style. At the start of the first Covid lockdown I began a project that involved painting nineteen portraits for exhibition at the end of the restrictions.

    I had already started using Zoom by then, for a writing class. The viewpoint it gave me of each of my co-attendees sparked the idea that I could use this technology to record this unusual period. I was taken by the odd perspectives I was seeing and the unguarded expressions and gestures on display in the constrained environment.

    It occurred to me that I could draw anyone, anywhere, from my studio in Swansea and that they would be, in turn, at ease in their home surroundings.

    I set the portraits up on a 16:9 ratio to match the screen I was viewing the sitter on. This necessitated blanking off the top and bottom of the canvas, as I could not get the correct proportion from suppliers at the time. I decided to paint the edges uniformly black which I later sprayed with satin varnish. This also acted as a nod to the computer screen surrounds, especially so when framed.

    One of the portraits painted in this set was accepted for the Royal Society of Portrait Painters' annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London in 2021. I have since completed many commissions for portraits (both conventional and nude) from all around the world, making the most of the technology that has now become commonplace.

    I am delighted to have now been elected as an Associate Member of the Royal Cambrian Academy and hope to use it as an opportunity to further my career in art.

    In addition, I am a keen writer and have written a large number of articles about my work, published online via Medium.

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    Chwilio Safle