Artist Tim Brown lives near Downholme, in Richmondshire, with wife Anna, head of reception at Aysgarth School, son Archie, 17, and 15-year-old daughter Pippa. In between restoring the family home, he recently returned to painting full-time.

Have you always loved painting?

EVER since I can remember I have been drawing and making things. As soon as I was introduced to art lessons at school I was in heaven – it seemed to come so easily to me where as the academic stuff was a strain. I was in my element drawing or modelling in clay. That stayed with me all the way through my education and I eventually ended up with a Fine Art degree. My speciality was sculpting, modelling and drawing from life. I didn’t try my hand at painting in oil until 2005. The human figure has always been the ‘go to’ subject matter for me. I like to convey scenes in which the viewer adds their own narrative to what’s going on.

I have worked in a number of mediums. Painting in oil and acrylic, drawing in pencil, pastel, biro and ink. I did a portrait of my sister’s cat in Biro, just to see what it would be like. It turned out quite well. I have carved in wood, stone, modelled in clay and cast in bronze. My mother has a large bronze head in her garden which I gave to her.

I veered off to the graphic design/marketing side of things to carve out a career – my last role was a regional sales manager for a fine food company – but the desire to work as an artist never left me. It wasn’t until a company I was working for went into receivership that I thought ‘right now is the time’. That was in February 2007 and I worked as an artist until 2009 when I was offered a great job. I did that for nine years, but recently decided to go back to being an artist.

Where do you live?

WE live in a beautiful spot with fantastic views just outside of Downholme, just west of Richmond. The house used to be my wife's grandmother’s and we managed to buy it a couple of years ago. We are slowly doing it up and bringing it into the 21st Century. The first thing we did was to open up the kitchen living area to create a large space by taking out a dividing wall.

We have had to have a total re-plumb because the heating system was a disaster and the house was Baltic in winter. We are slowly getting there; I have just finished re-tiling the shower room. Only the bedrooms, bathroom, laundry room and pantry to go!

What do you like about living there?

WHERE we live is so idyllic. Our nearest neighbours are a mile away. We are surrounded by fields and woodland with the River Swale visible from our kitchen window. Having Richmond and Leyburn ten minutes away is perfect and the A1 is just 15 minutes away. We started looking for another house when it looked as though we wouldn’t be able to get this one, but we would have had to be millionaires to get anything near to what we have got now. It took a long, long time and a lot of negotiation to buy it, but we got there in the end.

Anna’s parents still farm just a mile down the road. Our daughter Pippa regularly walks the dogs through the wood and over the moor to visit them. She always gets a hot chocolate and a Kit Kat on arrival. We literally walk out the back of the house, into a meadow, then a pasture and we are walking in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The land is either owned by Anna’s father or still rented/farmed from the MOD.

Where do you paint?

TO Anna’s annoyance, I paint in the kitchen. It’s not ideal, but it’s very light and airy. It’s a big room now so I can pack my brushes and paints away and push my easel into the corner. That way I can keep studying the painting as we sit having supper or breakfast. Everyone else in the family likes to critique as well!

My customers come from all over the place, most recently Russia. He bought the Covey of Grouse for a house he has in the Highlands of Scotland and saw the painting advertised in The Field magazine. The urban paintings have mainly sold in and around the North-East as I used to exhibit those at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle. The interior paintings have sold all over the UK as well.