A cuppa with – Greg Williamson

This week, we caught up with Greg Williamson, aka SharkmanArt. Greg is a painter and cartoonist who produces bright, impactful art using ink, watercolour, spraypaint and pyrography. 

Tell us about your creative practice?

Drawing and painting has been a big part of my life since I was young. After  graduating with a 1st class degree in Fine Art, I now teach Art and Design in a secondary school. My sons are both massive animal lovers so I began painting sea life and then that moved onto other forms of wildlife. Sharkmanart came from this creative phase.  

The other side of my brain is full of cartoons and caricatures. As a youngster I had lessons from the local legend David Moss, aka Dr.Jelly. He inspired me and taught me to see and think differently.

What makes you stand out from the crowd? 

My work is unique because I combine various different art techniques and processes. Pyrography on paper, scratching surfaces and spray painting are to name a few. I am very intuitive with my work and there is a freedom to it but it is still observational. I also create truly unique funky pet portraits. They are joyful, wild and very colourful. 

What inspires you about Glossop?

Glossop is my home town with many happy memories. Most of my work looks at more exotic wildlife. Maybe I need to paint a duck or two?! The landscape is always changing and the reservoirs are particularly beautiful at all times of the year. I really hope to become more involved with the creative scene in Glossop; painting on your own can be quite isolating.

Any exciting news to share with us/ forthcoming plans?

I have recently created some colourful Easter bunnies for Reuben’s Retreat. The owls and penguins I created for the Love Glossop Winter Art Trail were also donated to them. Hopefully they will bring some joy to the people that go there. In May, I have a residency at the Hadfield Hall Open Art Show so come along and say hello. I am also planning a group show on Lever St, Manchester. 

What would you like to see in Glossop in the future?

I want to see the Curly Cornet rise from the ashes! It’s a great building and must be restored to its former glory in the heart of the town, perhaps as a creative space and cafe. I want to see more shops like Artful Pigeon that bring in work from artists from across the UK. This would  expose people to other ideas and creative practices. 

Tell us your three favourite local businesses in the town – and why! 

I love Glossop Swimming Pool! I take my son a few times a week. It’s such an amazing building and the staff are so friendly. Howard park is great and the ducks are always happy to see you. We are so lucky to have it in the town. 

Next would have to be Mr. Brightmore’s sweet emporium as I call it, or Manor Park shop. The man is a legend and I find him absolutely hilarious. You just can’t leave the shop without a smile on your face. 

Finally, The Globe.  I worked there for a while with some truly lovely people. Many happy memories, great food and the Diet Coke (I don’t drink alcohol) is always spot on. I drew the ‘High Peak-y Blinders’ which is proudly hung in the Tap Room!

Check out Greg and his work on Instagram at @Sharkmanart