Art at the Park – Meet the artists: Nat Young

4 minutes

Meet the ex-doctor who’s addicted to painting. 

Artist Nat Young has been ‘learning from fantastic painters’ to create bold landscapes and will be exhibiting at Art at the Park on February 1-4, 2023

I'm a serious painter and I paint because I love it. It’s a harmless addiction!

I paint in my shed, it’s messy and uncomfortable but I call it my Shinto shed – a safe place when all around is falling down, so to speak, and it’s only a few steps from my back door.

I’ve been painting for many years, long before I retired from being a doctor. I’m originally from Yorkshire but moved to East Anglia in the early 1970s and began drawing and sketching influenced by the Norwich School of Artists.

I took up watercolours, painting scenes in East Anglia and rural landscapes until I came across a Welsh artist, David Tress, who is probably the greatest British landscape artist. His work knocked me for six – just fantastic paintings.

I got in touch with him and joined his courses over many, many years. He always told me to ‘underpin a painting with good accurate drawing’, so as I paint I may lose the drawing but still have that structure underneath the form.

Now I paint primarily in oils – viscerally rather than cerebrally, a sort of gut response to the painting itself. I don’t think too carefully before painting, I just go straight in and because it’s landscape I don't have to be too accurate. It’s a sense of a place rather than a specific viewing spot. I use a restricted palette such as ultramarine and buckets of white. They're very soothing and don't clash.

I also went to a good abstract artist called Louise Balaam and we did some painting opposite the Millennium Dome, in Greenwich. I was painting away and she asked: “What's the big picture?”

I also went to a good abstract artist called Louise Balaam and we did some painting opposite the Millennium Dome, in Greenwich. I was painting away and she asked: “What's the big picture?”

She was really saying take away a lot of the extraneous stuff and paint the big picture, the big image, what really gets you and why. That was very important and her other advice was to paint faster than your brain can think, painting from within as opposed to thinking and tightening up. That allows quite a lot of abstraction in the way I interpret scenes.

Louise also said that if you make mistakes well, brilliant, sometimes the mistakes work. It’s the old story about happy accidents. I don't particularly like that although often it’s the first whack on a page which is the most enjoyable, where you slap it on and it’s all gutsy.

(Image: Nay Young’s fast brushstroke create a dramatic sky)

I always take photographs of my work as I'm going along and often think ‘why didn't I leave it rough and ready because it’s got a lot more interest and life?’.

My wife Felicity paints a bit as well and we occasionally stay in Pembrokeshire, in Wales, with our friend Maggie Brown, who is an award-winning painter. She allows us to share her studio and we have a couple of weeks of pretty well wall-to-wall painting. It's lovely.

Felicity paints in a completely different style to me so we don't compete. She was a calligrapher and has a studio in the house and I have my ‘shed’ in the garden!

About Nat Young

Nat’s work is mainly landscapes, characterised by bold colour and painterly, dynamic gestures giving an impression both of the subject and his artistic response to it.

As his confidence has grown in using his materials, his most successful work on the lines of abstract impressionism, while still retaining the sense of place. The paintings are both visually stimulating and texturally interesting.

(Image: Landscape to be displayed at Art at the Park by Nat Young)

Nat has had a number of one-man shows at The David Wood Gallery in Dedham, The Digby Gallery in Colchester, and Hayletts Gallery in Colchester. He has contributed to a three-man show at The Head Street Gallery. He has participated in mixed exhibitions at The West Wales Arts Centre, John Russell Gallery in Ipswich, Shakespeare House Gallery in Dedham, Buckenham Gallery in Southwold, The Glansevern Gallery in Powis, The Life Gallery in Colchester and The Geedon Gallery in Fingringhoe. 

He has had several solo shows at the Aubrey Gallery in Great Dunmow and an exhibition at The Minories in Colchester with an illustrated catalogue with foreword by Ronald Blythe.

Howden supports Art at the Park

More than 60 artists have signed up for Art at the Park at Braxted Park, in, Essex, in aid of Home-Start Essex and supported by Howden. They will exhibit their original work at the professionally curated exhibition which will include sculpture, paintings, ceramics and prints .

Howden Private Clients Director Julie Webb says Art at the Park will be ‘such an exciting event, featuring so many incredibly talented artists’.

She adds: “We are proud to support Home-Start through Art at the Park and I look forward to inviting my art-loving clients to Braxted Park, a beautiful country house at Witham in Essex.”

Art at the Park in aid of Home-Start at Braxted Park, Witham, runs from February 1-4, 2024, supported by Howden. Work will be on display in the grounds and Georgian house with prices expected to range from around £15 to £50,000.
Tickets from

About Home-Start Essex

Home-Start Essex is a family support charity, which helps to give children the best start in life by helping to support parents and caregivers to feel less isolated, to build their confidence and find ways to manage the challenges they face. Home-Start Essex builds trusting, helpful relationships with families and delivers a range of support to meet their individual needs, including volunteer-led home visiting, family groups, wellbeing services, school-readiness and behaviour support programmes.

Insurance advice

If you own an item with special provenance, be sure to add the information to your insurance policy as this could impact its value. Retain the invoice, paperwork, photographs and serial number (if relevant) as effective record-keeping is an essential part of building a collection.

You will need to keep up to date with its value, as in the event of a claim you don’t want to realise you’re underinsured. It’s also important to decide upon the basis of valuation. Most times it should be for insurance purposes, but in some circumstances you may be able to insure at auction value, although bear in mind that what you agree may be the most you get back.

To speak to Howden about your insurance, please call 020 8256 4901 or email