I was born in Sheffield and was very young when I first realised that I wanted to be an artist. My father taught Art and showed me the basics. Our house had prints of paintings on many of its walls. The ones I particularly remember are ‘The Card Players’ by Cezanne, ‘The Laughing Cavalier’ by Frans Hals, and works by Gauguin, Turner and Constable. Also my Uncle Frank was a talented painter and we had some of his original paintings on the wall, which I would look at for hours. I went to see a Van Gogh exhibition at the age of five or so and that has had an everlasting effect on me, so I was introduced to great art at a very early age.
When I was 14 years old I won a painting competition organised by the Yorkshire Post and the RAF. I had 5 paintings selected for an exhibition at the Finningley Air Show and won a day out with the RAF, which was very exciting. I then also won another competition a year later for a painting based on the old and modern buildings in Sheffield.
I guess it was kind of inevitable that I would go on to study art; as I never really considered anything else. After completing my Art Foundation Course in Rotherham, I went on to study at Hull College of Art, where I obtained a degree in Fine Art (Painting). Hull in the 1970’s was a really vibrant place to be a creative; and to develop as an artist or a musician. It was the era of Punk and New Wave and all the up and coming bands came to Hull. I was even the vocalist/songwriter myself in the seminal ‘Liberace Coughs Up Blood’. We even made a vinyl single that was played on The John Peel Show. I lived in Hull for 9 years, firstly as a student and later on as an artist with my own studio, working alongside a group of other artists. We formed our own artists’ association and held our own exhibitions. We also took part in exchange shows with other artists’ groups around the world, notably Japan, Holland and the U.S.A.
I moved back to Sheffield about 10 years ago when I met my wife (The Third Eye). After that, I began exhibiting in the area, including at the ‘Great Sheffield Art Show,’ one of the biggest art shows in the North of England. I still exhibit there and also show my work at an event called ‘Art in the Botanical Gardens, Sheffield.’ I show my work each spring at an open studio event ‘Open Up Sheffield,’ where artists open their studio over two weekends for the public to visit.
I have also shown my work at various open art exhibitions, where I have won numerous awards over the years, including ‘Commended and Highly Commended at the South Yorkshire Open;’ ‘Highly Commended at the Rotherham Open;’ ‘Gold Award’ and ‘Best in Show at the Botanical Gardens exhibition.