Steve Brown was born in Chepstow in the UK in 1943. After leaving school, he went on to work for the BBC in the sound department. However, for most of his professional life, he worked for himself in the UK electronics industry. Then, 10 years ago, when he retired and came to live here, that all stopped: “There was a huge stock of chips and components which, sadly, I had to give away. I used to write software for microprocessors but there were many tools that I needed for that.”
Steve's retirement led to a radical change of direction and he now paints, satisfying his 'techie' instincts by designing websites and doing graphic design: “I love the mixture of art and science. In fact, I like to teach what I would call the technology of art: colour mixing, using different mediums and choosing materials, especially paper.”
1. HP CP1700 printer: This is my most prized item as it is quite old and would be impossible to repair. It prints up to A3+ paper and card and is ideal for printing posters and greetings cards. The colour cartridges are large and they last for ages!
2. Modigliani 260gm paper: I use this paper for all my cards and posters. It has the look of watercolour paper so I could almost pass off the posters as originals!
3. The plan chest: I bought this in London many years ago. It keeps things organised. I like the colours black and red and, when I saw the chair in Cal Rei in Girona, I couldn't resist it!
4. Computer: I use Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver (web-design). Not forgetting Photoshop, which is an essential tool.
5. Wacom Tablet: If I want to draw lines directly into Illustrator I can do it with this tablet but I prefer to draw simple drawings and scan them instead. You can see the scanner behind the screen.
6. The camera is a Nikon One J1: I have three lenses. My favourite is a fixed wide-angle lens equivalent to 28mm in the old 35mm film format.
7. The mitre saw is for cutting frames from profiles, which are made for me in Celrà.
8. Oil and acrylic paints Oil is the most exciting of the mediums but I make sure to use a low odour medium, such as Winsor and Newton Liquin which appears dark red in the photo. I often use gloss medium with my acrylics which gives the paint both body and gloss. You can see the bottle next to the tubes. For the oils, I use toughened glass as a pallet and paper vegital for acrylics. Under the paper is a wet sponge which prevents the paints from drying.
9. My watercolour paints:I use artists' quality watercolours in both pans and tubes. Pans are more convenient but have the disadvantage of being contaminated with other colours. Almost all my paints are W&N.
10. My brushes: I use exclusively Escoda brushes, which are made in Barcelona. They are brilliant and I even swapped emails with one of the Escoda family when I needed advice!