I am 52 years old now and have been painting most of my life. I was born in Hillingdon but have lived in or around most of England's counties also extending to Scotland, Wales, Lanzarote and La Gomera in the Canary Islands. Most of my working life has been in the tourism industry which has afforded myself to live and work in some of our countries most sort after destinations. Not all by accident though for I have always had a wanderlust and need to see and paint as many types of landscapes and locations as I could.
Like many started with watercolours as they are easy to fit in a rucksack and get out on location. They do however need patience and have rules, which for my dyslexic mind was quite restricting. However using watercolours in all sorts of weather and types of landscapes taught me to be more observant .
Ive known many a skilled watercolorist and admire their patience and discipline to the media. It takes knowledge and skill it is to achieve an accomplished piece of work, just getting a wet painting from the field to the studio is an art.
I learnt that acrylics were the natural choice for an impatient, intolerant artist such as I. A plus is I can mix in ink, charcoals, pastels and sometimes dirt or other detritus close to hand for texture. I love to use texture and line, form then follows with blocks of colour, you can then add glue and scrape back into the surface as much as you dare.
As like most artists, I am my hardest critic and I am continuously learning every day to be a better artist, practise makes perfect I believe the expression goes. It has long been more than a hobby to paint, rather a need, although sometimes the process of creating can stir up deep emotions and frustrations, it calls me back again and again. I am always trying to find new ways to express my thoughts and feelings. I want my paintings to stir emotions and provoke thought and memories of times and places. I will not copy directly from a scene or place as this makes my work tight. I am striving for the simplest use of lines and marks to create the most honest finish. I will take lots of photos when walking with my phone (it records the exact spot and place automatically) which I then look at after my walk and again a few days later. Thats the great thing about using technology it makes the process that much easier and I use it a lot in the process of making my art. The use of an iPad to sketch is great on wet days or when you get the urge to sketch but obviously you can't always have you paints and stuff with you. I also take photos of my paintings whilst I am I doing them, its like the old trick of looking at you're painting through a mirror to see if its balanced. I can draw or paint over the photo if I am stuck to see what may need to be done next without destroying the whole thing. Something I use to do a lot in the early years. When I take a picture it causes me to stop and take a reference note, I may also sketch the scene briefly with charcoal and pen. I am now conditioned to do this and that means when I am walking and observing I see the landscape in photos and that helps break down what is a huge and awesome subject to capture using just a bit of paint and some marks on a canvas. I paint more abstracts in the winter when Mother Nature does her own simplifying of the subject. The lines of hedgerow, fields, roads and trees stand out in a more abstract way of looking.