Craig Longmuir



A-Head in Art

Words: Simon Paterson

Images: Craig Longmuir


Craig Longmuir is the Head of Art at St Mary’s Catholic High School and has a first-class degree in Fine Art and Print Making. Craig has always been enchanted by the Peak District and is captivated by Curbar and Stanage Edge.

It is a magnificent landscape and I enjoy trying to capture the splendour of it. I like the gritstone and contrast between the up close, panorama in Stanage and Curbar. It’s one of the most beautiful parts of the country.

Craig’s talent hasn’t gone unnoticed and he is thrilled to have one of his black ink drawings selected for exhibition in the Mall Galleries 303rd RBA Annual Exhibition (London), he hopes you can pop in to see the art during February this year.


We wanted to know more about the local Teacher with an international talent and managed to interrupt his busy schedule to meet the man behind the paintings…



What was the first piece of art you can remember doing as a child?

It was a painting of a galleon ship on an ocean with loads of waves crashing around it with rigging. I enjoyed making it come to life from a picture I found in a book. I guess I was about 6 or 7 years old.


So, that gave you the ‘painting bug?’

Definitely. I remember creating a painting and hanging it up overnight. In the morning I was excited to see how it had changed as the paint dried.


You generally paint with oils then?

I do, it enables me to blend and make textures, whereas other paint dries too quickly to manipulate it. Oil paint has a lovely greasy texture to it that you don’t get with others.


The paintings in this article are of the Peaks, what inspires you to paint Chesterfield’s beautiful back garden?

It is a magnificent landscape and I enjoy trying to capture the splendour of it. I like the gritstone and contrast between the up close, panorama in Stanage and Curbar. It’s one of the most beautiful parts of the country.


I understand you are a member of the Peak District Artisans; how did you get involved with this community group and how do you become a member?

I was in an exhibition in the Botanical Gardens (Sheffield), Tim Rose (Artist PDA) asked me to apply to join. I was then invited to a panel interview with a selection of my work and was accepted into the fold.





You teach Art at St Mary’s School in Chesterfield. If you were 15 again, at school, what advice would you give your younger self before embarking on your teaching career?

Well, if I was 15 now, I wouldn’t go into teaching because of the university fees. I would advise myself to do an apprenticeship in London. I’d love the buzz of the city and would volunteer in a theatre. I did paint at the crucible as a teenager which was a fantastic experience, one I will always hold dear…


If you were trapped in an elevator with three Artists past or present, who would you choose and why?

Leonardo Davinci, because he led a fantastic life coming up with new techniques to paint murals. I’d love to know what made him tick. He analysed every detail of his subject before putting brush to paper.


David Bomberg, because he wasn’t in fashion in the 1920’s, so he struggled with his career against all the odds despite being hugely talented. I’d love to know how he faced that adversity.


Artemisia Gentileschi, she was abused early on in life which inspired her art. Therefore, her art is macabre and turned the tables on her abusers through her art, painting strong women defeating men. I’d love to know more about her mindset and what made her keep pushing to succeed where most people would have crumbled.


Craig’s art will be on display:

Royal Society of British Artists 303rd Annual Exhibition 2020

London

20th to 29th February 2020


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West Studios,

Sheffield Rd,

Chesterfield

S41 7LL


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paul@s40local.co.uk
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