Compared to some Turner Prize winning artists of recent years, my art is really quite boring. I don’t cross-dress, put dead animals in cases, leave unmade beds in galleries or do anything else that gets me noticed in a dramatic way. I have considered trying to become more ‘interesting’ but it would be contrived so instead I create what I like which is what art should be about anyway. I love bold, bright and beautiful art that has some technical skill to it. I particularly like animals and horses as they seem so unaware of how fascinating they are (except cats and Arabian horses who know exactly how fascinating they are). My art has lots of movement and tends to grab attention wherever it is seen. It isn’t deeply significant but it does delight me and that is fine by me. If a painting is not thrilling to me – it is a bad painting. If I paint something and have to keep looking at it – it is a good one. Some artists show concepts, some like to shock, some like to be decorative, some like to impress with brilliant technical skill. I like to paint paintings that thrill me. My ultimate goal is find the perfect image and paint a masterpiece. It hasn’t happened yet but I will never stop trying.
My other motivation is to help other people to become artists. I began teaching in 2001 and quickly found that being able to create something is more than a hobby – it is a life saver. I have had more than a few students tell me that art has completely transformed their lives. It took me a while to realise why this is but I finally figured it out. It is because the material world we live in is dictating our every move almost constantly. When we should sleep, what we should eat. The fashion we are supposed to wear, how fast we can drive, what is politically correct and what is not – in fact most of our lives consist of ‘now I’m supposed to do ….…..’ and it gets TEDIOUS! – this is a continuous barrage of other people laying down rules and us having to obey. It is not a healthy thing. There are various ways you can deal with this – some of which are destructive but the healthiest way I know of is to find an art form and use it to create the a reality as you would have it rather that as it is being enforced on you. It is essential – how does anyone live without it? So added to my first goal of painting the perfect image, I also have the goal of helping other people to find their art form so we can all be a bit happier. Simple really…
Inspired to be an artist by Rolf Harris in the late early 70’s, I taught myself to draw and paint by copying animals and horses out of books on an almost daily basis. I was an extremely shy child and found that the ability to draw and paint well was the only thing I could do with confidence and so I pursued it (everyone needs to get attention somehow don’t they?)
In 1979 I did a foundation course at Chelsea and then a degree course at Brighton where I graduated in 1983 with a fine art degree in sculpture.
After graduating, I hired a studio space on Brighton seafront where I began producing fibre glass sculptures as commissioned by an architect who designed interiors for hotels. I was even commissioned by the Dean of the college to make two life size sculptures of horses.
A year or so later I travelled a little and on my return did all kinds of other jobs especially promotion and marketing work (which was better paid that sculpting). I even ran a small publishing company for a while in the early 90’s but shortly after that decided to get back to some art.
On moving to East Grinstead in the 80's, I began painting for an art agent that specialised in animal, people and bespoke portraits and soon became skilled at painting dogs and horses in the classical style. I also took on mural painting commissions and wrote and illustrated a few children's books
In the late 90's I began teaching for adult education centres in the area as well as a few private teaching courses. I sell paintings through galleries, exhibitions and on-line and, along with other art related activities am able to keep painting and evolving as an artist.
Whether I ever become rich from art remains to be seen but regardless of this, I love to paint. I love getting blobs of it in my ears, on my clothes and on the floor. I love smelling of turpentine and wearing jeans that are held together with dried paint and I love knowing how to hold a brush and being able to use it!