A SOLDIER who is embarking on a new career as a professional artist is sharing his journey in an exhibition in Salisbury.

Richard Salter is bringing his exhibition, A New Chapter, to Gallery21 in Queen Street. The exhibition runs from Saturday 29 until May 13. He will be at the gallery on Sunday 30 from 1pm-3pm

“In this exhibition I’m tying in everything I’ve learnt so far,” he explains. “The exhibition is telling the story of my art journey. It ties everything up but what is exciting is what is going to come next, which is the unknown part. I love the idea of a blank canvas - I have no idea what is going to go on there next. It is really quite an exciting adventure.”

He said: “It is the next step in the chapter really. All the work I have done so far I tend to tell lots of stories and talk about where I have been and what I’ve done.

"Obviously being in the forces you are away quite a bit in an operational environment and I tend to observe what I see and paint the emotions that things bring up.”

The exhibition will be his first show as a professional artist. However, this new career has come around sooner than planned as Richard had planned to leave the army in two years time. He will be medically discharged in July, which he says will be his “first real step into being a full time artist”.

He says he has tried to capture some of the emotions he has felt during this time of change.

Richard has been in the army for 20 years after joining up at the age of 16. “I now get to live out that childhood dream,” he said. “It is quite a challenge but I’m looking forward to it.”

Richard says that as his artistic journey has developed so to has his style.

As he explains: “I started off as an abstract painter, I could not paint something in front of me. From abstract I went onto wildlife. I started to really develop a realism - I started to do some portraits.

“My work went from abstract, things that don’t exist, to really rigid, mechanical, life objects.”

He has also painted portraits of magician Paul Daniel before he died and also members of the Emmerdale cast. Although working largely in paint he has also started making bronze sculptures.

Richard finished in the top four of BBC's The Painting Challenge in 2015. He has also got a number of award wins under his belt including first prize in the serving artist category from the Army Arts Society amongst others. 

For more information go to gallery21.co.uk.