BRUCE Mulcahy, who gave a demonstration recently at Keighley Art Club, was born in Dewsbury and became interested in painting from an early age.

He gained an Honours degree in Fine Art at the University of Newcastle in 1978, selling several pieces in his degree show and receiving his first commissions later that year. He began painting full-time shortly afterwards.

Bruce was inspired by painters who have worked outdoors such as Turner, the Impressionists, and lately Joan Eardley. Almost all of his work is done on the spot. The practical difficulties of doing this in all seasons are put to one side, as the important thing for him is to be able to react directly to the landscape and the particular colours, textures and light of the moment.

He carries all his paints, brushes, palatte and water in his rucksack, so his canvas size has to be limited.

He has just stepped down as treasurer of the Royal Society of Marine Artists after five years.

He has exhibited in numerous galleries including The Mall Galleries, London; Manchester Acadamy of Fine Arts; and Staithes Gallery.

At his demonstration in Keighley, Bruce demonstrated the use of Gouache in a painting of a Flamborough seascape.

He uses Windsor and Newton Gouche and only has a palette of eight colours: red, lemon yellow, cadmium pale yellow, flame red, aliziron crimson, sky blue, ultramarine, candle brown and white.

He paints on watercolour paper with a ‘not’ surface and uses very little water. He limits water usage by using small tablet size bottles and changes them often, as ‘gushes’ is meant to put on concentrated and not watered down unlike watercolour paint.

During his demonstration, Bruce sketched in pencil first to identify main shapes then painted in the shadows. Unlike watercolor paints where you put the shadows in later, gouache is opaque and the white can cover over dark. Gouache can also be made wet again, and finished at a later date.

Bruce then painted in the sky, all the time looking to see if he could use the colour elsewhere in the scene to add balance to the overall painting. Bruce is used to painting quickly as the light and weather are unpredictable.

Working his way around his palette, Bruce the stated to block in the cliff and sea. As gouache does not take as long as watercolour paint to dry, he was able to start building up the layers.

Bruce answered questions from members as he painted. In less that two hours he had managed a good under-painting that he would complete at later date.

He brought several painting books with him and an art folder full of completed works, covering subjects such as seascapes and landscapes.

Bruce also runs weekly painting classes near his home and tutors a residential painting weekend each October as part of the Staithes Art School, organised by the Gallery. Unfortunately for us this was Bruce’s last demonstration for us because he is moving away from this area.

* Keighley Art Club, which is more than 100 years old, held its latest joint exhibition at Cliffe Castle Museum this spring with Bingley Art Society.

The exhibition featured 104 paintings, which was a record number of entries.