David Cobley was born in Northampton and following a foundation course at Northampton School of Art, he went on to Liverpool School of Art but dropped out after the first term. He travelled to Japan and funded a three year course at Sophia University in Tokyo by teaching English as a foreign language. He returned to the UK in 1984 and worked as an illustrator whilst painting portraits of family and friends in his spare time.
David has painted people from all walks of life and his work focuses on human behaviour. Two of his portraits have been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery and form part of the permanent exhibition there. He has had solo shows in both Bath and London. In 1996 David set up Bath Artists’ Studios and had a studio there for many years before moving to Devizes in 2013.
“I first started painting outdoors when I was in Japan back in the early ‘80s. It was such a thrill to get out of Tokyo and look for things to paint in the countryside – mainly shrines and farm buildings. Now I live in Devizes I don’t have far to go to find a farmyard but there are lots of other things that catch my eye.”