PAINTER and sculptor Francis Murphy will be opening up his studio to give art lovers an insight into his work this autumn.

Known for working in oils, stone and clay and occasionally mosaic, the artist will form part of this year’s Swindon Open Studios which will return over the course of the first two weekends in September when more than 50 artists will open up their homes or studios to the general public. The free event will give residents the chance to find out more about the artists taking part as well as their creative works.

Lifting the lid on his colour palette ahead of the event, Francis revealed he had always been creative. “As a small child of four or five I was given what seemed like a gigantic piece of paper and a couple of coloured pencils with which I filled the whole sheet with drawings,” he said.

“I have always been fascinated with faces and science, both of which have formed a large proportion of my subject matter. Paul Gauguin was an early influence and his portrait of 'Anna the Javanese' is probably the painting I would love to own.

“Wiltshire is a beautiful county with Swindon a town which is lively with the arts and leisure pursuits. There seems to be a club for everything. We are surrounded by lovely countryside available in minutes by road in any direction.

“For me, when I paint or sculpt, time stands still. There are many young artists in Swindon and in order to encourage them I would suggest just 'Paint what you feel'.”

Swindon Open Studios will take place on Saturday, September 3, Sunday, September 4 and Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11.

In addition to open studio events some artists will be exhibiting in group settings, with several coming together for a joint show in the Central Library. Another group will show at Every Cloud Arts and Crafts at Stanton Farmhouse in Stanton Park.

For more details visit Copies of the open studios brochure containing details of each venue will be distributed around the town from early next month.