View of Amberley, Sussex , Henry John Kinnaird

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Edward "Ted" Wesson (1910-1983)

He was born in Blackheath, London in 1910 and drew much of his early inspiration from the tidal waters of the River Thames; in particular the spritsail barges that later became one of his favourite subjects.

Ted was almost entirely self-taught, having suddenly felt ‘an urge to paint’ in his early twenties whilst working in the textile industry. He experimented with watercolour and particularly enjoyed the rapid technique of the medium. During WW II he met an Italian painter called Ascanio Tealdi who introduced him to painting in oils. The guidance and advice of Tealdi had a great impact on Ted and within three years of returning to England his oil paintings were being accepted by the Royal Academy.

The fact that his oils were accepted so readily spurred Ted on to seek similar recognition for his watercolours and by 1952 he was a full member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, becoming one of their most consistent exhibitors and a member of the Council. He also began to exhibit regularly with the Royal Society of Marine Artists and the Royal Society of British Artists.

By the 1960s his painting was becoming more and more important to him. In addition to selling his pictures he was lecturing and demonstrating all over the country and as the momentum of his artistic activities increased it became inevitable that he would have to choose between his career and his painting. Helped by the knowledge that he could at the very least match his business income through the sale of his pictures he turned to painting full-time.

This change of emphasis resulted in a period of intense activity, both in painting, demonstrating and teaching. Being essentially self-taught gave him a valuable insight into becoming a tutor himself. He was able to understand the problems and concerns of his students all the better for having in a sense been in the same position himself. Another factor in the success of these courses was Ted himself. He was an excellent communicator, combining a mixture of charm, wit and understanding that came from within with a great desire to pass on all he could to his classes. His courses were complimented by many articles on both oil and watercolour that he wrote for both the Artist and Leisure Painter.

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