Kevin Chester was born in Tranmere. He was raised in Cumbria and studied Art and Design at Lancaster and Illustration at Manchester, where he gained a degree in illustration in 1987.
Initially working as an illustrator in advertising, he later concentrated on Fine Art, painting a wide variety of subjects and also restoring antique frames and pictures.
In 1996 he was elected to membership of the Lake Artists Society, which was founded in 1904 by W G Collingwood, secretary to the art critic John Ruskin. He resigned from the ‘Lake Artists’ in 1999 when he left the country to live in Brazil.
Whilst in Brazil, Kevin painted society portraits, politicians, modern day saints and worked as a picture restorer. He studied the Afro-Brazilian culture of Salvador, where he lived – producing paintings based upon those studies. In 2001 he and his work appeared on local and national Brazilian TV.
Kevin returned to the UK at the end of 2001, when he moved to the Western Highlands of Scotland. There he enjoyed painting the landscape ‘en plein air’. He settled in Cumbria in 2003 and in 2006 was awarded an Honourable Mention in the ARC’S International Open Salon, in America, for his painting ‘Baiana de Itapua’.
In 2009 he was re-elected to membership of the Lake Artists Society and has since served the society as a council member, exhibition director and President.
Kevin draws his inspiration from many sources and cultures. His subjects include portraits, figures, spiritual personages, landscapes, seascapes and large allegorical pieces inspired by nature. Several of his portraits of high lamas and saints have been recognized worldwide and prints of these can be found in temples, centres, museums and private homes throughout the world.
His work is grounded in the practice of Life Drawing, which he also taught for ten years. Although he has worked in most mediums, he now prefers oil painting – enjoying what he sees as the flexibility and vast potential of the oil painting medium.
He has exhibited in Cumbria, with the Lake Artists Society, in particular, and at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery; in Newcastle, at the Biscuit Factory; Scarborough Art Gallery; in Wales; Devon; Scotland; Manchester and in Birkenhead, at the Williamson Art Gallery’s Open exhibition and with the Wirral Society of Arts. He has also exhibited in London with the Association of Illustrators, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, at the Bankside Gallery, the Brazilian Embassy and in Salvador in Bahia, Brazil.
Website: www.lakeartists.org.uk (members page).