Tim Sainsbury, born on the English/Welsh border, has a “foot in both camps” and draws on this dual personality . He paints, nowadays, almost exclusively from memory and imagination. Memory is paramount, for as he says “when a memory has been distilled over maybe 50 years it has to be significant”.


His method of working may seem to the casual observer to be at first careless and arbitrary, he says, “I apply the paint in a casual manner, not attempting to capture the image I have in mind but rather waiting for it to appear, then the serious business begins”. The paintings, therefore are sometimes like journeys into the sub conscious especially at the commencement.


He says “Images in the memory are rather like pages in a book, when turned rapidly, you only get glimpses, but one of them will be the starting point for a painting. How the work develops from that point is down to the imagination and pictorial relationships”.


Here is a painter who works in the style of the British painters who were active pre and post war, figurative and imaginative, many styled by Herbert Read to be “Neo-Romantics”. Read says, “By nature the genius of our painters, architects and poets was always romantic”.


To sum up Sainsbury’s paintings can be seen as a true continuity in the British Tradition, which is deep-rooted and substantial, paintings that evoke and reflect our grey skies and undulating landscape and the idiosyncratic people of these islands.

John H Clifford - Wiltshire - March 2004


Read more personal insights by visiting the Tim Sainsbury page


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