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paddy air inuit 300Paddy Gardiner

I was born in 1934 and raised in both the UK and Ireland. After apprenticing in aircraft engineering and immigrating to Canada almost 60 years ago, I have been fortunate to always find employment, although not always in the aviation field. After the Avro Arrow Affair, I have worked in heavy industry, electronics and even installing radio equipment in the Far North. I had an interesting few years working in the survey aircraft modification field. Finally, I was employed by The Boeing Company, which was an enjoyable and fitting end to my working days. The art I now do is for relaxation.

What is your artistic background?
My artistic background goes back many years. As a child during the war I was fascinated with airplanes and constantly drawing them. I did well in art at school, although my teachers apparently found me lacking in other fields. After school I was apprenticed in mechanical engineering to a landing gear manufacturer. I attended art school in the evenings. After my apprenticeship was completed, my employer offered me a job as a technical illustrator.

Why do you like to paint aircraft?
I don't particularly, but I treat aircraft as part of the scenery and try to capture the ambiance and context of the scene in which they are used.

What is your connection to aviation?
Very little now as I am retired from the industry—but now I can devote my time to aviation history.

How do you choose a subject?
I have no idea—whatever strikes my fancy and wherever I see a suitable scene. I look for impressions and try to capture the stance of the airplane in its natural usage as opposed to the super realistic accuracy of the "rivet counting" school of art. I also try to draw from reality where possible, rather than from photos.

What are your favourite media to work with?
Water colour, pencil, gouache and ink, sometimes acrylic