Horse Chestnut Tree
Jethro Buck - The Forest
The Forest (Detail)
In 2012 Jethro Buck travelled to Jaipur, in India, to study under the master miniaturist Ajay Sharma. As he had recently left his job as an art technician, this was made possible with the help of a grant from the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
For three and a half months Jethro shared Sharma's studio and learned the delicate art of miniature painting, from preparing the paper to smashing up semi-precious stones to make paint. Most of all, he learned the art of patience.
Following this, Jethro studied for an MA at The Prince's School of Traditional Arts, in London. It was here he gained a greater understanding of what it was that originally drew him to the ancient tradition of Indian paintings: beauty - "a universal contemplative beauty that the paintings (or at least the good ones) express".
Jethro has a deep respect for the Indian tradition and a deep love of and engagement with its processes. He enjoys the fact that the finest brush comes from the hairs plucked from a live squirrel in Jaipur. (Please rest assured that no animal was harmed in this process.) He loves nothing better than grinding his own pigment with gum arabic and storing the paint in mussel shells, a technique taught to him by Sharma, and equally obtaining his raw materials from caves closer to home in Wales.
He has brought the truths he learned in India to Britain and now looks upon the horse chestnuts and English oak trees around him with new eyes. The seeds that were sown in India are now taking root in the land where he grew up.
"My work is essentially an exploration of Nature and a celebration of life and beauty." - Jethro Buck