Though William Packer NEAC Hon PS Hon RBA Hon FRCA has long worn two hats, as painter and critic, he has always hoped that it would be the painting that would inform his writing, rather than the other way round.



Artist's Statement

William has always been a painter, but chance and circumstance have also taken him down other closely related paths – first as teacher and then for many years as art critic, notably for the Financial Times. His approach as critic was always that of artist rather than academic.


Despite an early flirtation with abstraction, he has always been at heart a figurative painter, in recent years principally of still-life.


Method of Working

William works principally in oil. For many years he painted on board, but nowadays he uses linen canvas and, for smaller paintings, primed card. William tends to paint quite thinly, and prefer a fast surface, rather than one with a marked tooth. He does of course also draw, and he does use watercolours for more informal study. His work, ever since art school, has always been essentially figurative – the head: landscape - though in the 1960s the landscape side did verge seriously on the abstract. William was also very interested in Pop-art early on, and worked a lot with photographic reference. He now worksonly from life or the object. Still life has been a major preoccupation in recent years. As to process, he does rather just start, and gets on with it. Once started, William works quite quickly, one painting at a time, though they do seem to come together in groups or batches. Over recent years he has worked mainly with still-life, but never exclusively so, and his intention is to turn again rather more to the landscape and the figure, as opportunity allows.