“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.” Michelangelo
Painting on Hadrian's Wall at Crag Lough.
I spent my first eighteen years living in various outposts of the retreating British Empire with my family as my Father was in the R.A.F. These including Singapore, Aden, Cyprus, Germany and many parts of England, before settling in the north east of England. After eighteen years in Newcastle my wife Julie and I moved to an old farmhouse near Allendale in the North Pennines where we lived for fourteen years raising five free range children and a menagerie of animals. When they became teenagers we moved to the market town of Hexham nearby, where we now live.
I studied graphic design at Lincoln College of Art from 1976 then worked as a graphic designer in Newcastle. However I was pulled towards visual art and did a degree in Creative and Performing Arts at Northumbria University specialising in printmaking, graduating with a 2:1 degree in 1984. I have been a self-employed artist since 1986. For many years I was also a part time lecturer at Newcastle College where I ran the HNC in Fine Art, as well as other courses and colleges in the North East.
I exhibit in London, Newcastle and Northumberland and often work to commission. I have paintings in many private and corporate collections in Britain and abroad, including that of the Royal Family, Lord Dearing, Sir Peter Carr, Sir John Hall, Cherie and Tony Blair, Northern Rock, Barclays Bank and Northumberland Water.
Other interests have included reading widely, travel, playing sports for forty years and playing guitar and singing in various bands from time to time.
I like painting directly from life to experience the subject as fully as possible. I am interested in the familiar subjects of figurative painting; people, places and things.
I don’t try to impose myself or an idea onto a subject. Although I prefer to work from life I often have to finish larger paintings away from the subject from reference and, very importantly, the memory of contact with the subject over a prolonged period. This can also give the opportunity to be more reflective. The best paintings feel like they evolve of their own volition. Subjects suggest themselves for all sorts of reasons, but I try and paint things which excite me, for whatever reason. I try to distil and intensify what it is about the subject that most interests me, which is partly subconscious.
Currently I am most interested in painting the landscapes I am most familiar with which gives me a huge variety within a very short distance of where I live.