I have always had a passion for painting; I went straight from Quarry Bank Secondary School to study an Art Foundation Course at Liverpool Polytechnic, before successfully applying to study a Fine Arts Degree at Central School of Art and Design in London, graduating in 1984. Central was a great education as it introduced me to more abstract ideas as well as developing figurative skills. Though a difficult process at times, they encouraged experimentation and an expansion of my horizons. The tutors were well established artists who had a wealth of knowledge, skills and opinion. After completing my Degree I continued to work and develop my style as an artist, exhibiting in London, and more recently in galleries throughout the UK.
I have always been fascinated by the human form and the use of light and shade upon it, to enhance the image, giving it excitement and mood. I hope to convey some mystery, even spirituality, in my work as well as the strength and beauty of the body. Caravaggio, Klimt, J W Waterhouse, Alma Tadema as well as Bacon are all artists that I admire and study. Rothko interests me for mood and atmosphere.
When starting a painting I have an image in my mind of how I want it to be but after sketching the initial pose on the canvas the image develops and takes on its own path. I take my reference from many sources including models, imagination and life all around me.
I work from dark to light, laying on dark brown or blue washes as a ground, and build up from there whilst still wet. I will work on a canvas for a few hours before leaving it to dry. I work on 2 or 3 canvases in this way returning to them with fresh eyes.
I aim to achieve ‘tight’ realism in parts of a painting whilst in other areas leaving it loose and less defined. This is to escape the confines that realism can impose and to be more expressive. The underwater series give me a freedom from gravity that enables a freedom of the body.
My studio is in a converted warehouse in Wimbledon where there is a community of over a hundred artists. There is no set pattern to my day although I prefer to arrive around 9am. I usually listen to music or maybe the radio, and it is always good to chat with the other artists as they pass my studio.
I paint for 3 or 4 hours and then take a break, some lunch, a session at the gym or a walk on Wimbledon Common with my dog Ted.
Afterwards I return to the studio and work on until the evening. The day is often rounded off with a pint in the pub with friends