As an East Anglian, Fred Beckett has a natural love of landscape and big skies. Both aspects provide Fred with great inspiration and give wonderful opportunities to observe nature through all her elements.
Fred's aim, as in all his paintings, is to capture the feeling of being there and experiencing the atmosphere, activity and any particular sense of light, colour and so on. He regards each painting as a new adventure!
When painting in oils Fred mostly uses ready stretched Belgian linen canvas that have been prepared with several coats of acrylic gesso and a tonal ground. Fred does not use any turpentine or linseed oil in the colour mixes, relying instead on the oil content of the paints themselves or sometimes adding a small amount of Wingel to speed up the drying. He prefers a tear-off palette than the conventional wooden type.
Fred generally works in oils but he also enjoys watercolour. In oils he uses a selection of brushes, both hog and sable, and of the best quality. Fred only uses a palette knife for mixing. It is quite usual for him to work on two or three paintings at a time. For Fred's reference he particularly likes sketching and painting outdoors but a digital photo is a useful back up when time is of the essence.
Fred is an accomplished artist whose knowledge of his native East Anglia often appears as the subject matter of his paintings. He is a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and was its President from 1995 to 1997; in January 1998 he was elected a Fellow of the Institute. He is an Honorary Artist Member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and an Honorary Member of the Royal Society of British Artists. He is also a member of the renowned Wapping Group of Artists and he is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers. In October 2009 he was elected a member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists.
He exhibits regularly at the Mall Galleries in London and was the 1995 winner of the ROI Alan Gourley Memorial Prize for an outstanding painter and was awarded the Le Clerc Fowle gold medal in 2002. In 2006 he was awarded the Dartington Crystal Chalice for outstanding contribution and service to the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. His work has been shown at many galleries in London and the Provinces.
After a very successful business career it was always an ambition to develop his artistic talent. Upon retiring 20 years ago, he actively pursued art as a self-taught artist.
He has frequently given art demonstrations and was previously the Treasurer and President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters.