Nathaniel Young (b.1940)

Light through Woodland, West Bergholt, 2008, Mixed media on card, 22 x 30 in

[CAS 65] Acquired in 2010



Nathaniel “Nat” Young was born in Pontefract, West Riding of Yorkshire and educated at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Wakefield, Yorkshire. He then studied medicine at Guy’s Hospital and was a General Practitioner in Colchester from 1970 to 1998.

Young’s first interest in art was as a collector of early 18th century English sketches and in particular works by artists of the Norwich School of Painters, such as John Sell Cotman (1782-1842), who were inspired by the natural beauty of the Norfolk landscape. In the early 1970’s Young attended an art class in Colchester and began drawing, sketching and painting East Anglian scenes in watercolour. Over the years his work evolved through experimentation with various media, including gouache, oil, collage, ink and acrylic. His subject matter also extended to urban scenes.  

For many years Young has visited the Tarn region of France where the undulating countryside with its vines, fruit trees and grazing cattle particularly appeal to him. He also loves painting in Wales with its beautiful valleys and forests overlooking the wild and fierce Irish Sea, and Yorkshire also.

For a number of years Young contributed to a column entitled “Nat’s Art and About” (1) in the Essex County Standard where he reviewed local exhibitions and art events. Nat is a Lay Chaplain at Colchester General Hospital.

He was a member of Colchester Art Society (2) and Chairman of the Society. In 2007 he had a major solo exhibition at the Minories, accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with foreword by Ronald Blythe.


Working from sketches and photographs Nat Young pursues a dynamic, even aggressive application of pigment to paper and board, preferring the use of trowel and palette knife rather than brush. Such boldness in technique conjures up an impression of emotional outpourings and energy in his landscapes, a method he developed under the influence of David Tress (b. 1955) (see link below) whose own work borders on abstraction and who Nat claims as a major source of inspiration. From this tradition he also derives a love of the semi-abstract while still retaining a sense of place and admires the expressive vigour and emotional power of David Bomberg (1890-1957) (see link below) who trained under Walter Sickert before studying at the Slade under Paul Nash. These influences have resulted in some of Nat's most successful and popular works, visually stimulating and texturally exciting, as in this subject of West Bergholt, with its heightened awareness of the subject matter, recalling what Bomberg called the ‘Spirit in the Mass’ (3).

Selected Exhibitions


The Aubrey Gallery, Great Dunmow, Essex

The David Wood Gallery, Dedham, Essex

The Digby Gallery, Mercury Theatre, Colchester

Hayletts Gallery, when in Colchester

The Head Street Gallery, Halstead, Essex

The Life Gallery, Colchester

The Minories, Colchester (70 works)


Buckenham Gallery, Southwold, Suffolk

The Geedon Gallery, Fingeringhoe, Essex

The Glansevern Gallery, Powys

Hayletts Gallery, when in Colchester

John Russell Gallery, Ipswich, Suffolk

Shakespeare House Gallery, Dedham, Suffolk

Thompson Gallery, Marylebone, London

The West Wales Arts Centre, Fishguard, Pembrokeshire

David Tress’ website

Art UK (David Bomberg)

(1) A play on words for “Out and About”.

(2) Nat was proposed by Anthony Atkinson when President of the Society.

(3) See the 2006 exhibition at the Abbot Hall Art Gallery entitled “David Bomberg: Spirit in the Mass”.