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Martin Davison Art - About the Artist – Some History

          Artist and musician, Martin Davison continues to enjoy exploring the possibilities of oil paint and of charcoal, but also frequently works in pastel, pen and ink, and other (and stranger) media.   He has exhibited widely since the mid -1990’s.   Born in 1931, he grew up in Worcestershire and Pembrokeshire and now lives in Mortlake, a part of Richmond upon Thames.

          At Oxford he played clarinet  in  the University Jazz Band.     While there he studied  drawing part-time at the Ruskin Schools and later both drawing and painting at St Martins in London.  In Paris briefly during the late fifties he earned his first real financial rewards for his art from pavement-drawing outside the Sorbonne. 

         During the 1960's, work in advertising and PR brought a thorough grounding in graphic design, layout and typography.    In 1970 he was appointed head of corporate PR for the Courtaulds Group.  He resigned from this post in 1972 to set up Bokonon Productions in Mortlake, a design-and-invention studio/workshop dealing in graphic design, architectural model-making, toy design, toy and game prototype-production, and games inventing.   Twenty-plus of his original games inventions have been marketed internationally, the best-known being Rubik’s Magic Strategy Game which sold well over half a million worldwide.    During these years he continued to paint, to carve wood and to model plaster, clay and resins.

          Full-time as painter and musician from the early 1990’s, he is a long-standing member of the Society of Graphic Fine Art, whose concern is to promote excellence in drawing, and has been a member of the Musicians Union for nearly 30 years.  He writes jazz pieces and songs as well as organising, and playing clarinet, with "Brenda's Boyfriends with Pat Starr" jazz band.

           For the last two decades his work has explored many media, methods, subjects and styles.   Paintings in oils, acrylics or mixed media range from figurative to abstract, simple to complex, delicate to brutal.  Drawings in charcoals, inks and pastels have recently been mainly life studies in his Mortlake studio.   He has also been working a lot in "essence" derived from oil paints, as pioneered by Degas and Lautrec.  His website now includes some 150 images of his work and is frequently updated.

            During the last ten years he has also been working with, and promoting, the Richmond Art Society which has many distinguished artists among its members.

           Among his teachers and gurus, he names especially Bruce Hurn, Gavin Lyall, Elisabeth Shubart,  Menashe Kadishman,  Tom Lupton,  Patsy Shillinglaw,  Derek Hulme, Dr Richard Baines,  Christine Byron, Wally Fawkes and Jeff Nuttall.

Boulevard St Michel, Paris, Sept 1959 : View of Pont Neuf and Notre Dame