By the time I got to Art college I was already the best draughtsman in the year, however being a Fine Art Foundation, the only one in the country I hasten to add, they weren’t really interested in old school they wanted modern and conceptual, needless to say I didn’t get on very well.
Following this, I went on to do a fine art (BA honours) degree at Exeter. I was able to experiment a lot more during this period; I had a wonderful time. After graduating I returned to Cumbria for two years whereupon I felt I would get sucked into the tourist market and that wasn’t what I wanted. My focus was to mature as a painter not to please people in my artwork style.
At this point, I decided I needed to go back to London and establish myself there and to simultaneously gain some qualifications in order to teach adults. This was 1998 and after two years working part-time and painting I was having shows and selling well; I decided to focus on painting full time in 2000.
My work had been narrative based since 1992 but something happened in the studio one day when I painted a seascape from imagination and I couldn’t take my eyes off it.
I then realised Art doesn’t have to be about meaning and in fact, it was a distraction, it was more important that the application was beautiful.
I have and always will experiment but when I first started back at 21 I had envisaged myself being a landscape painter.
In 2005, after relocating to Derbyshire I was finally able to immerse myself in this particular discipline of art. During this time I continued to show work all across the UK, despite changing styles.
After building a studio and a couple of years painting indoors, I knew I had to start going outside to paint.
Another six years passed while I struggled to find my way within ‘En Plein Air‘, trying many different approaches. Finally in 2012 I had my breakthrough, this lead me to stripping my palette back and painting standing up with large amounts of pure oil paint, something just really clicked, to this day I continue to refine and adjust my working method and application, through this I feel happy in my work.
It has been a very long journey, that being said what I have learned along the way has been invaluable; I can now utilise many styles as a result.
Presently I continue to show across the UK and yet my first joy remains painting and teaching.