Christopher Aggs RBA


I see myself as a realist painter and prefer to work directly from observation. I am endlessly fascinated by the task of translating what I see into paint and consider that the world in front of my easel contains more wonderful variety than anything I could ever dream up myself. I am most at home working outdoors but have a studio in West Sussex with printmaking facilities where I also undertake a variety of work to commission. Ideas for paintings present themselves constantly in the landscape, among objects in the studio and recently while observing musicians absorbed in the activity of music making.


I prefer to work from direct observation and paintings nearly always beginning with a series of drawings as a means of getting acquainted with the subject rather than as a means of fixing its contours. I usually work in oil paint on board, and sometimes on canvas. Frequently the work will be carried out plein-air although I do make on-the-spot sketches if the weather is variable or time presses. I prefer to complete larger more considered works on site rather than in the studio. This always means changing and re-working the painting to fit current conditions and often means repeated visits over many months, sometimes even returning to the same spot at the same season over several years. Like most figurative artists, for the past 150 years, I am affected by photography and do use photographic references when I cannot rely on my own observation; for instance when things are happening too fast to draw! However it is important to me to re-invent the photographic image through the medium of oil paint rather than try to make a copy.


1951 Born in Horsham, West Sussex.

1970-3 Read English Literature at University of Oxford and began drawing lessons at The Ruskin School, Oxford.

1974 Studied Painting and Printmaking at City & Guilds of London Art School and continued at the Royal Academy Schools graduating in 1980.

1983 Married artist and illustrator Patrice (Osborne) Aggs.

Established practice as Artist and taught Drawing, Painting and Printmaking at the City & Guilds of London Art School, Northbrook College, Worthing and University of Chichester Dept of Fine Art.

2012 Retired from teaching to concentrate on my own work.

2013 Elected member of Royal Society of British Artists.

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