Rodney Bastable was born in 1953 and spent his formative years in a rural environment, which provided the base for his artistic interests. His Father worked as Head Gardener for Lord Derby on the Stanley House Estate in Newmarket, ‘the home of horse racing’.
He attended Great Yarmouth College of Art and Design for his Foundation Studies, but was disappointed with Winchester School of Art which he attended briefly on the Dip.AD course. The formal traditional base, which had been offered at interview, was not forthcoming when enrolled.
Back at home, he proceeded to study landscape and portraiture. The works of Michelangelo and Turner were to provide his inspiration and the words of Vasari and Ruskin.
In 1973 he met his future wife, Patricia, who would be a massive support in his continued endeavours. Working in a range of media, the following six years resulted in many one-man shows and a wide range of commissions in both portraiture and landscape.
Due to a strange turn of events with a copyright issue, involving a portrait of Lester Pigott, Rodney had to take some work in freelance drafting to pay for the legal case. By the time the case was resolved in his favour, he had become very involved in the alternative creative process in his work in lighting engineering.
Since 1978 he has had a balanced working career, which has embraced both inventive integrated mechanical design involving registered designs and patents in the world of fibre optics and low energy, sustainable lighting, while at the same time experiencing success as an artist. In 1985 he exhibited at the Royal Academy.
Much of his work since that time has been inspired by his two daughters and, more recently, his grandchildren.
‘My studies of light, in the engineering and scientific sense, have given me a unique visual resource to use in my manipulation of pigment and result in a different approach to the surface preparations and effects used in my paintings. I believe these treatments affirm a continuation from the classic works which inspired me.
I believe that acrylic, used in the largest part of my collection, is a purer media than oil, despite the old school views. I am certain that Turner and the Impressionists would also have supported my view. My works from 40 years ago are as fresh as the day I made them. On smaller works I prefer to use soft pastel on Ingres faced card, because of the grainy, particle pixelated effect’.