As both one of our talented artists and a Director of Collier & Dobson we thought we would put the spotlight on Anthony Dobson to find out a bit more about his creative processes, and what has led him to work in multiple areas of the art world.
Anthony was born in 1971 in West Yorkshire, where he lived with his parents and younger sister before later moving to the South of England.
He has always been interested in creating art, and says that he felt compelled to do so from as young as three, when his parents would give him wallpaper sample books in which to draw. The large and plentiful sheets of paper gave Anthony an opportunity to explore his craft without restriction.
He attributes his creativity to be mainly down to his own unique observation of the world around him, rather than from imagination, and explains that he has always viewed everything he sees in terms of constituent parts - shapes, colour and light - and instinctively contemplates how he can recreate what he is seeing as a painting.
Such analytical perception of his environment (and subsequent artistic subjects) is abundantly clear in his earlier work depicting Formula One racing cars. Anthony developed a keen interest in motorsport from an early age and would spend his evenings intensely studying and drawing fast cars, in every minute detail - their form, colour, motion, and how they affect the environment around them.
His obsession with depicting Formula One cars continued throughout childhood and into adult life, when he continued to hone his meticulous painting style. He would painstakingly paint a moment in time on the track, capturing that split second where a car passes the spectator with such speed that the surrounding landscape seems to elongate as if pulled along by the sheer power of the car. Anthony sold his first painting (of Brazilian Formula One champion Ayrton Senna) when he was just 18 and, eventually, demand for Anthony’s commissions grew to such a degree that he decided to pursue that instead of completing his graphic design foundation course. Clients included private collectors, car manufacturers and even racing personalities…many of whom have kindly autographed Anthony's work for his customers - most notably Nigel Mansell, Sir Jackie Stewart, Sir Stirling Moss, and John Surtees.
Anthony’s critical eye and drive to recreate what he observes has made him perfectly poised to work in multiple areas of the art world. Indeed, in 2000, after successfully selling his own commissions for a number of years he acquired established art gallery and framers, Black Horse Arts, in the cathedral city of Salisbury.
Here he took on the role of business owner, gallery director, and framer and soon went on to expand the business to include limited edition print reproduction - primarily for the reproduction of his own artwork. Anthony would use an 8x10 film camera to capture images of original artwork, and honed his considerable proofing skills whilst colour-balancing digital images from which he would produce limited edition prints. The gallery, framing, and print production sides of the business all began to flourish and Anthony soon gained a reputation for quality printing and framing, and exceptional attention to detail.
Having purchased a printing business, Anthony inherited with it artists Tabitha Salmon and Clive Meredith (among others) under the representation of art publisher and client Philip Collier. Philip saw Anthony’s flair for both the commercial and technical, as well as the creative side of the art world, and proposed that they join forces to start their own publishing house…and in 2004 they did just that. Phillip, his family and hard working team came together with Anthony to form Collier & Dobson in the pretty riverside town of Fordingbridge.
Anthony admits that he loves the structure of running a business as it requires the same thinking that drives him to paint - looking at and analysing component parts in order to understand how to make the ‘whole’ work…just using numbers instead of paint!
In recent years the subject of Anthony’s paintings has taken quite a dramatic change of direction as he now focuses on depicting wildlife. However, the move doesn’t feel as dramatic to the artist himself, as he explains “because I look at everything in terms of shapes and colours, the subject of my paintings can be anything at all. By breaking things down into constituent parts I find I can turn my hand to any subject.” Indeed, Anthony is adept at representing the speed and movement of an animal and their interaction with the environment in much the same way as he is able to capture the intense motion of a racing car.
No detail is missed in his latest collection of wildlife themed artwork - every errant wisp of fur and ruffled feather reveals his deft observational skills and his quest to reproduce what he has witnessed. This results in wonderfully authentic portrayals of birds and animals that perfectly capture their essence and unique characteristics. Working primarily in oils, Anthony’s signature meticulous, yet not overworked style displays the incredible eye for detail, colour and composition for which he well known.
Whilst still painting, and running the business alongside Philip Collier, in Anthony’s spare time he is a keen golfer. He also sponsors PGA golfer Corey Sheppard, who launched his professional golfing career in 2019.
View Anthony's current collection of wildlife themed original paintings and limited edition prints on our website.