The youngest of my parent's six children, we grew up with art all around us, my father being in television and film, my mother an artist through and through. I have painted all my life, my school reports often reflected an artistic imagination and talent, but sadly little else! Wildlife and portraiture have always been subjects of interest, however horses have been an ever present passion with historical or military themes and hunting and racing providing an abiding source of material. After a varied career in property marketing and construction, years skippering sport and commercial fishing boats abroad as part of my fish trading company, to city based commodity trading. Finally, at fifty years of age I decided to become an artist full time, a natural decision for me!
I have painted a wide range of subjects in oil including human portrait studies, marine subjects, landscapes and still life and of course equestrian work of various kinds. Presentation pictures have included retirement portraits of masters of foxhounds, huntsmen and a much admired farrier to name a few. My paintings range in size from small studies a few inches in diameter to large six foot canvases and have been sold all over the world. I believe at least one of my works hangs on every continent.
I began sculpting some years ago, but did not produce a bronze until 2014, my first small thoroughbred horse study. The unexpected success of that initial venture lead in time to my first serious sculpture in bronze, the National Hunt hero "Denman" in 2016. The 1/4th scale study of the much loved chaser was produced from life studies and many hours studio work. A life size equestrian bronze and numerous further bronze commissions and studio studies have followed leading to my latest two sculptures, a Thoroughbred study in 1/4th scale and a Lurcher Dog in 1/3rd scale, both cast in bronze in editions of nine. I have become passionate about equestrian form and strive to achieve sculptures which honestly convey the incomparable beauty of my equine subjects. My knowledge has developed through continuous study of historical information, first hand knowledge of horses, dissection and the collection and study of equine parts including numerous skeletal elements. We are lucky enough to have horses at home which literally graze around my studio, these double as living models and are an invaluable aid to my work!
Future bronze sculpture projects include various military mounted and standing figures, other standing portrait figures (including a new sporting artist series including Munnings, Lionel Edwards and Cecil Aldin), various animals (domestic and from the wild) and a major commission study of world famous champion jockey Frankie Dettori (mounted).
In parallel to my artistic work, I am presently finishing the first fully illustrated biography of ‘Sir Alfred Munnings’ which is the culmination of thirty years of research and thirteen years of work. Publication details will be forthcoming shortly and will be updated on my website.
OSBORNE STUDIO GALLERY
The Osborne Studio Gallery was opened by the Princess Royal in March 1986, in Floral Street, Covent Garden.
It was named after the well-known sculptor James Osborne, who played an integral role in the founding and running of the Gallery, until his untimely death in 1992. The Gallery has been firmly established for the last 14 years in Motcomb Street, SW1 where it hosts a changing programme of exhibitions each year, complimenting its large and varied stock.
The Osborne Studio Gallery specialises in sporting paintings and bronzes by leading contemporary artists, with an emphasis on horse racing, and has additionally branched
out over the years to handle the works of many respected landscape and figurative painters. The Gallery has always sought to promote artists of the greatest talent, in particular those whose work appears to be impervious to fashion.
Upon request, the Osborne Studio Gallery would be delighted to send out catalogues for forthcoming or current shows, and a warm invitation is extended to come and visit the Gallery in the heart of Belgravia, central London.
Geoffrey C S Hughes
Tristram Lewis explains to Janet Menzies why he has swapped paintbrush for Plasticine to immortalize a great racehorse in bronze
Tristram Lewis did not have the most conventional start to his artistic career. Far from it, in fact.
‘I started off working in property in England,’ he explains, ‘but I’d grown up in Spain and had a fanatical desire to go to sea. I ended up spending 16 years as the skipper of tuna fishing boats.’
Horse and hound
The former giant of jump racing Denman, who retired from racing in 2011, is being immortalised as a bronze by sculptor Tristram Lewis.