During my childhood I seemed to be constantly trying to hunt down scraps of paper to draw on, there never seemed to be enough available. Pencils, paper and erasers were a luxury only afforded to me as a birthday or Christmas present, however, one day the gods smiled upon me and someone dropped a roll of wallpaper onto my lap! It must have been like winning the lottery, there must have been a million miles of drawing that could be done on the reverse of that roll.
I remember being about 10yrs old when it actually dawned on me that I wanted to be an artist. It was the final few days in the run up to Christmas, I was at school and the lesson was to make a Christmas card for our parents. I drew Santa sitting in a yellow vintage car - my teacher was so pleased with my card, she showed it to my class mates. This was the first time in my life that I was recognised for an achievement and that I was good at something! - There was no stopping me from there on.
I still have that Christmas card today ... It''s about 35 years old now.
Whilst in my early 20s I spent a few years as a freelance cartoonist, often contributing to The Daily Mail. I eventually moved south down to London where I specialised as an airbrush artist. In the course of about 10 years I painted onto almost anything and everything, for example: -''American trash cans, motorbike tanks, personal computers, guitars, stage back drops, leather jackets, t-shirts, baseball caps and even the plaster on a sales mans broken leg.
In 2001, I moved back up north to Yorkshire, and it was while I was surrounded by the beautiful dales and moorlands that I started sculpting animals and tall men in flat caps. These creations quickly evolved into the paintings that I produce today.
I hope that I manage to capture the dignity and pride of the mill, mine & factory workers who all too often lived and worked in such harsh environments, but I also would like to think that could they see my work, it would have made them smile.
I try to portray the funnier side of life and I''m sure many would agree that ''real life'' can be many times more amusing than fiction!
My observations of animals enables me to draw upon a situation and turn into something quite quirky. Sheep, pigs, cats & birds all lend themselves perfectly, as does the dog ....... ! As I know from experience, the dog is not always the brightest of sparks on the planet and often their antics can beggar belief! In view of my work, I hope that the next time that someone sees a dog or a sheep - that they will never see them in the same light again!
Most of my work evolves constantly ... often at a rate that I physically have a problem trying to keep up with. All too often my wife has to remind me to eat and sleep even then I have to fight the urge to sneak out of bed to scribble down a fresh idea!
One of my main influences as a child has to be Rolf Harris. I used to watch his shows on TV and never ceased to be amazed at the way he seemed to throw paint at a wall and scrub it with a yard brush then hey presto! ''a work of art'' would appear before my very eyes ... wonderful!!
I wouldn''t be at all surprised if Rolf wasn''t at least partially responsible for many a 40yr old being an artist today! - Cheers Rolf!
In my honest opinion - we artists are, and will be ''forever children'', we have never grown out of wanting to paint and make things! Fortunately for some of us - we actually get paid to do it!