Martin Balshaw is the current Secretary of AFAS and a serving officer in the RAF, where he teaches as a Qualified Flying Instructor. He is mainly self-taught, having followed a scientific, rather than artistic education. He has been a serious painter for more than 20 years and has been a member of AFAS since 1994.
Originally a watercolourist, he specialised in military subjects in their operational environments. Gaining recognition, he worked on official commissions for military units and private collectors. However, with a passion also for the great outdoors and mountaineering, he diversified into painting wilderness landscapes, which brought him wider recognition. He uses his qualification as a Joint Service Mountain Leader as an excuse to take his sketch book and camera into the wilds in search of subject matter and inspiration.
Having enjoyed commercial success with his winter mountain landscapes, it was suggested that his work would also suit other mediums. Encouraged by AFAS members, he produced a series of oil paintings based upon his watercolours. Since then he has not looked back, and now paints in both watercolour and oils.
He has exhibited regularly at the Mall Galleries in London as well as smaller galleries throughout the country. His work has been acquired by The National Army Museum, The RAF Club, Officers’ Messes and several prominent private collectors. He has won the Painter Stainers’ prize for watercolour painting and both the National Army Museum’s and The RAF Museum’s prizes for oil painting. Having found using the medium of oils to be a liberating experience he has branched out into the contemporary field of abstractism, enjoying success with the AFAS “Out of Line” exhibitions in the Threadneedle Space at the Mall galleries.
As Secretary of AFAS he can be contacted directly through links on this website.