AN aeronautical engineer who usually spends his nine to five fixing and supervising military planes has taken up painting as a hobby, saying it’s ‘yin and yang’ combined.
Gaz Foulkes, from Shildon, County Durham, works as an aeronautical engineering supervisor at RAF Leeming.
Mr Foulkes recently worked on the newly formed Qatari 11 Hawkes Mk167 Squadron, however in his spare time he has painted landscapes of County Durham and North Yorkshire.
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Mr Foulkes originally started his painting hobby by producing images of dogs on his ‘Paint My Pooch’ Facebook page.
Soon he was receiving pictures of pets with a landscape background, and he fell in love with the process and soon found his first landscape sold in a gallery for around £330.
Mr Foulkes said the paint had also helped his mental health during the lockdown after he felt he ‘had no sense of purpose’ after being asked to stay at home during the pandemic.
He said: “To be honest, without painting I would have had no sense of purpose, from being an aircraft supervisor on military planes to all of a sudden being stuck at home with no sense of purpose, I would definitely say it’s something that kept me in a creative mode.
“There’s something to be said for having something you can do, something you can learn, every time you do it you learn new techniques, new brushes and paint different scenes that have each with their own challenges.
“When I work on the plane you have to do certain tasks at certain times, everything is planned and when things go wrong you have to figure out what we need to do to fix it and all that within a limited time frame.
“Getting up at a fixed time, leaving at a fixed time, you get used to this regimented lifestyle, so all of a sudden you’re told you can’t go anywhere, not even walk the dog. was crazy.”
Now Mr Foulkes says he has “the bug” and still finds time for art and spends most weekdays and most weekends painting.
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He said, “In other words, I’m coming home from work now, I’m going to come home, take the dogs out, and then spend about two hours painting.
“Then on the weekends I’ll probably spend all day Saturday painting and then Sunday my wife if she’s away so I better not paint then.
“You just walk into a bug, everyone has that kind of crutch on something and it just finds you.
“I mean, it’s something I’ve only been doing for three years and in those three years I’ve been in four galleries.”
Mr Foulkes has also created an online gallery which other artists can benefit from, saying the online site is “for artists by artists”.
He said, “I actually managed to create an online gallery, which means people are now paying me to upload their work online.
“But the difference with mine is that I don’t take any commission on their sales, so the artist gets 100% of the sale.
“So the tagline is for artists by artists so the intention is to maximize the success of the artist and I charge a very minimal fee of around $5 or around £3 for artists to download that much photos of their painting as they wish.
“The fee is basically to pay for the view, I don’t really benefit from it unless thousands and thousands of people are uploading their work around the world.”
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He concluded: “I have to pinch myself sometimes, I just spent all day fixing three military planes, getting them serviceable and ready to fly tomorrow, then rushing home, taking care of the dogs and to paint.”
You can find Gaz Foulkes on Instagram at art_bygazfoulkes
And you can buy Mr Foulkes’ art here: https://yorkshire.art/directory/artist/gaz-foulkes-2/
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