'Inner landscapes' of flora and fauna at Lauderdale House
- Credit: Michael Wasser
Vibrant natural 'Inner Landscapes' by Golders Green artist Michael Wasser go on show at Lauderdale House this month.
The acrylic paintings of flora and fauna were due to go on show last June but had to wait a year to hang in the Highgate venue's gallery.
When he's not detailing the inner petals of foxgloves and poppies - or birds and bees - the 70-year-old leads wellbeing walks for the over 70s across Hampstead Heath.
"After doing my art A Level at Quintin Kynaston my parents discouraged me from going to art school," says Wasser, who grew up in Compayne Gardens, West Hampstead.
"But I've kept up my art all my life, doing courses in drawing, sculpture and watercolour at Camden Arts Centre and the Working Men's College."
In his latter years, Wasser worked as a personal trainer for older clients and takes inspiration for his artworks from both his own garden and the Heath.
"Painting is my big love. I had a gap for a while, but my wife is a keen gardener and one day looking inside a vermillion oriental poppy I saw another world, and started looking at stamens and corona. It just went from there.
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"With this lockdown I have suddenly improved my technique and had a burst of creativity doing almost 50 paintings - it's been a great way to destress and practice mindfulness."
"I always worked in realism and naturalism, but lately I have moved towards abstraction," he adds.
Ten percent of proceeds from sales will go to The North London Hospice, and a further 10 percent to Lauderdale House.
"It's the perfect venue. It has a wonderful light filled gallery to show my work, a cafe and it overlooks a beautiful park."
Inner Landscapes runs until July 11 and is open daily 11-4pm except Saturdays.