paintings & drawings
from life
Alastair Sibbald - Painting


Drawing was always my childhood passion. After many years studying and working in the world of science, I was inspired to pick up my pencils once again by a Kew Gardens exhibition of botanical paintings from the Amazon rainforest by Margaret Mee. I joined Maidenhead Painting Club in 1989, working regularly in watercolour and pastel at Portrait and Still Life sessions, and was privileged to work alongside, and learn much from, several of the Club's professional artists – this was my 20-year apprenticeship!

For further experience and new challenges I have travelled abroad many times on painting trips with groups of other artists, travelling to Zanzibar, and, with watercolour artist Lucy Willis, to Spain, Morocco, Crete, Venice, Syria and Malta, where painting outdoors "en plein-air" in wind and rain, cold and heat, is a very different experience from indoor work. Recent painting workshops include weeks with Charles Reid (Stow) and Ken Howard (Morocco and Venice). Since 1999 I have regularly attended local Life Drawing workshops, working both in Conté and also in watercolour, and I attended the annual Pastel Society Life Drawing workshops led by Victor Ambrus. I exhibited and sold work in the Maidenhead and Cookham area for many years and have now returned to Northumberland.


I worked in biomedical research at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne for twelve years whilst studying for a BSc degree in Physics, and then a PhD degree for research on microelectronic sensors for clinical applications. Following the award of an SERC Advanced Research Fellowship in 1983, I moved to Thorn EMI Central Research Laboratories in 1985, where, in 1991, as Principal Staff Scientist, I initiated and championed the research from which the 3D-audio company Sensaura Ltd evolved, for which my colleagues and I were awarded the prestigious gold-medal MacRobert Award (2001) for Innovation by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

In 2003, I was a co-founder and Research Director of Sonaptic Ltd (now part of Wolfson Microelectronics), developing 3D-audio technology and inventing novel ambient noise-cancellation technologies for mobile phones and earphones, including Nokia's BH-905i headset.

In 2009, I was co-founder of Incus Laboratories Ltd (now part of AMS (austriamicrosystems)).

My scientific publications include numerous papers on chemical-sensitive field-effect transistors, biomedical instrumentation, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. I am also the co-author of a book on Chemical-Sensitive Field-Effect Transistors and the author (or co-author) of more than ninety patents in the areas of sensors, microelectronics, electronics and acoustics.


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© 2012-2021 Alastair Sibbald