Born in Berlin in 1931, Frank Auerbach is a painter of both people and urban landscapes. He focuses on a narrow range of subjects, mainly landscapes close to his London studio and a small number of models.

He arrived in England in 1939, aged just 17, as a refuge from Nazi Germany. In 1947, after attending school in Kent, he moved to London, where he has lived since. He was still working 7 years ago, but now aged 90, I’m not sure if he is still painting… but I like to think that he is.

He is quite a self-deprecating person and doesn’t like to talk too much, preferring to paint. He certainly avoids self-analytical conversation.

However, after not speaking to the broadcast media for over 10 years, he did do this interview for BBC Newsnight for Cultural Correspondent, Stephen Smith. Click here to watch the interview.

I thoroughly enjoyed a memorable exhibition of his work at Tate Britain. Find out more about the exhibition here.

I like the heavy use of paint and resulting bold textures. Seeing the thick gestural marks, deep textures and how light plays a significant role can only really be appreciated ‘live’. Viewing Auerbach’s work in a magazine or online just isn’t quite the same.

Layer on layer, and usually working in acrylic (which I also prefer for its speed of drying), and not oils (which I find too slow and far too messy! – I get oil everywhere!) (Although, I may sometimes ‘highlight’ or ‘finish’ a painting with oil), Auerbach adds to and builds up the texture of his work.

His method and style is an inspiration to me to be bold, take risks and experiment!

I first came across his work about 15 years ago, and I blame him, in part, for getting me going with texture! It’s all Frank’s fault!