An interview with my main character
Q & A
Ollie Anderson, artist
Born in Plymouth, Ollie Anderson lives in London where he works as an artist, as well as having a part-time job in a gallery near Piccadilly. His passion is watercolours. He lives with his wife, Jess, a teacher, and his daughter, Flo, aged eleven.
When were you happiest?
When my daughter was born. It was a magical time. I couldn’t believe Jess and I had produced this beautiful being.
What is your greatest fear?
Apart from fears that anything should happen to my wife and daughter, my greatest fear is not receiving recognition for my painting.
What is your earliest memory?
Standing in the middle of the foyer of my parents’ hotel, crying for my mum. I remember lots of people around, but no one took any notice of me. I must have been about two.
Which living person do you most admire and why?
David Hockney. Not only do I love his paintings, but I admire his work ethic, and the way he takes on new challenges despite his age. He writes and talks about art with such understanding and passion.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
It’s odd really because it’s also the thing I’m passionate about. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have the drive to succeed as an artist. A lots of problems seem to stem from that.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I’ve got big hands. The rest of me is thin and skinny, but I’ve got wide palms and square-tipped fingers – just like my dad’s.
What is your most unappealing habit?
What would your super power be?
It’s not strictly a super power, but I’d like to be able to paint light and movement like John Singer Sargent. Each of his paintings is a small miracle.
(Picture from wikiart.org)
What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
A gallery owner told me my watercolours were hide-bound and middle class!
What does love feel like?
The feel of my daughter’s hand in mine when we’re walking together, and looking down and seeing her blonde head bobbing along next to me.
What was the best kiss of your life?
In the fountain in Trafalgar Square, the day Jess and I got married.
What is the worst job you’ve done?
When I was at art college, I worked one summer holiday at the local rubbish dump. I didn’t want to ask my father for a job at the hotel because once he got me there, he would never have let me go.
What has been your biggest disappointment?
That my father can’t appreciate that I want to be an artist. I don’t like arguing with him, but if I’m not prepared to take on the hotel, he doesn’t want to know.
How would you like to be remembered?
As a painter, and a dad. No, I’d like to change that. As a dad, and a painter.