I am a painter working from a shed in deepest darkest Kent. After a BTEC Nat Dip in Foundation Studies at the Kent Institute of Art and Design (where I was awarded the Eric Hurren Prize) I graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art (Painting) from Liverpool School of Art. After many years painting while holding on (by the fingertips, in many cases) to what might be reasonably regarded as 'proper jobs' I leapt into the existential void of full time painting in 2008.
My work seems to have gone full circle since making my first colour painting in my 1st year at Liverpool. Then I found it impossible to lay colours on top of each other without feeling a terrific sense of unease. I remember spending weeks on a painting of a forest, a motif that allowed me to build up the image using small blocks of colour. I careered off down that route for the best part of 15 years changing scale and medium but sticking to my blocks of vivid colour. Around 2005 my paintings started to feature little white houses (usually singular) These satisfied my need to have a human element and subsequent narrative without having to paint in figures (two things that I promised myself that I'd never include in a painting, lettering and figures *sigh*)
After about 4 years of working in heavy impasto oil I managed to beat my fear of laying colours on top of each other (a small victory hooray!) and started working in water based media. The use of pastel and gouache together allowed me to finally combine my two loves of colour and line. Bliss. I produced a series of paintings for a Summer Exhibition in Sandwich, some of which I have placed here in the 2011 gallery. These paintings are informed by countryside and the seaside. As a child we lived for a while in Dymchurch, the home of Dr Syn and I think the scarecrow and the smugglers must have affected me quite deeply. My paintings all seem to have their roots in this dark mystery. We spent all of our family holidays on the South Coast of Cornwall, a county that is awash with mysterious goings on and history. One only has to visit Dozemary pool near to Jamaica Inn to appreciate this fully!
I have spent the last year working furiously in an attempt to make enough work to have a weekly auction on eBay. This has been tremendously liberating and changes in my work that might have taken months or years to materialise have been occurring almost weekly.
I had an epiphany at the beginning of May 2012 when out of the blue I found myself back in the forest that I worked so long on in 1994 in Liverpool. The difference being that I felt much more confident with my use of colour and brushwork. It felt like coming home. Since then I have continued to work on comparatively small pieces (A4 or A3) The narrative, story like nature of my early paintings has returned with a vengeance. At last after 25 years I found the ability to finally add figures (the lettering came and went in a series of paintings in 2011 inspired by Kit Williams book Masquerade)
I'm not sure where the paintings are heading. I see glimpses of the next one in my minds eye but they don't resolve themselves until they're good and ready. I guess that one of the half decent things about getting older is that I feel comfortable to trust the process. Not to stress to much and to enjoy the journey.
I hope you enjoy them too.