In the studio with Lindsay Pickett

As part of a new partnership between the School of Visual arts at City Lit institute, the team at London Graphic Centre gained exclusive access to talk to some of the tutors about their creative practice and what they have been up to during this time.

Kicking off a host of ‘in the studio talks’ we met Lindsay Pickett who has recently taken a year out of teaching to complete his MA studies and hopes to re-join the team this coming academic year.

Social media links:

Website: Lindsay Pickett

Instagram: lindsaypickettart

Misfit Mania Triptych oil on linen 180cmx92cm all three panels

Could you tell us a little bit about you and your work? 
I am currently studying an MA Fine Art course at City and Guilds of London Art School, which is 2 years part time. I am now in my second year. I specialise in painting oils on linen and my work features images of the surreal and otherworldly. They are renditions of hybrid animals that are used as metaphors for the socially isolated. They depict very surreal highly detailed believable renditions of living beings from another world.

Has your practice changed over time? And if yes how?
Since undertaking my studies at City and Guilds Art School, my work has changed from warped cityscapes to the subject of hybrid beasts. This is because I needed to find a stronger narrative in my work and also analyse and interrogate my practice more in terms of why I do what I do. This has enabled me to link and connect my work to both historical and contemporary fine artists that I can identify with.

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What work do you most enjoy doing?
Although I have dabbled with printmaking and etching in my practice as well and also working with clay relief on canvas, I have enjoyed working with 2D painting most of all and have found that this way of working produces just as much of a believable life-like detail. I like making the impossible, possible.

What art do you most identify with?
I feel that I can identify with artists of a surrealist bent and also the work of some science fiction illustrators as well.  In particular my historical influences are the artists, Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Brueghel from the 1400s up to the 20th century surrealists like Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte. Contemporarily speaking I like the current work of Thomas Grunfeld, Kate Clark and John Stark.

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What does your artwork mean to you?
Making art is essentially my life. I was born to do it. As I have experienced what it feels like to be ‘other’ I have been able to express this through the making of my work. When something is classed as ‘different’ it is often feared or misunderstood in some way. In the animal kingdom, if a species doesn’t fit in in some way, it often gets rejected. This is something that I can identify with and my art allows me to express this.

What are you currently working on? Are you able to share the details?
I am currently working on this painting in my studio pictured below. It is titled ‘Why Can’t I Play? Oil on linen, 51cmx70cm

How has the current situation impacted or imposed on your creative practice? Has it led to any new works / projects being developed that you perhaps wouldn’t have embarked on?
All I can say about the virus and how it has impacted on me is that I have found that I have had more time to make new work. As a lot of my art workshops and sessions have stopped. I have done some online but I have certainly not allowed the virus to get in the way of my fine art practice.

In this time of self-isolation is there anything you have come to realise as a creative that you can’t live without?
I cannot live without making work and spending time with my wife. Pure and simple.

Are there any particular materials or processes that you enjoy working with?
I enjoy working with oils on finely woven linen that I prime several times with acrylic gesso. This allows for as much detail to come out as much as possible.

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What’s a piece of advice you’ve been given that has stuck with you?
When I did my BA Fine Art degree 20 years ago, my tutor Andrea Duncan said to me that ‘you will do well in the world of fine art as long as you keep working’. That last bit, ‘keep working’ as never left me.

How have you overcome creative blocks and barriers whilst being in lockdown?
As my studio has been at home, I have not have had any barriers to overcome other than the fact that I have learned how to use ‘Zoom’ and Google meet when running art workshops. I may not have learned this has the virus never happened.


Alternate Evolution 50cmx60cm oil on relief and linen