Q: How long have you been an artist? Please tell us a little about your chosen medium? Do you do any other creative arts projects or work in other mediums?
A: I’ve been painting on and off since I was sixteen and eventually became full time around 1995. Oils are my favoured medium and I’ve recently been exploring different surfaces and grounds. Ball point pen is my second choice as I find it’s a lovely meditative process building up the gradations of tone and soft cross hatches.
Q: Have you been trained, and if so from what institution? Or are you self taught? (Are you teaching or mentoring? If so please tell us a little about your experiences).
A: I did 2 yrs technical illustration at Brunel technical college, Bristol and 2 years of illustration at Falmouth school of Art, Cornwall where I graduated from in 1992. I was then illustrating through ‘The Art Market’ agency based in Covent Garden,London for around 8 yrs. My wife began teaching abroad and we had a 5 yr stint in Saudi Arabia where I also taught at an international school and a Saudi Princess at her palace.We saved up the pennies and then bought a small holding in South Africa which we renovated over 2 yrs. This was where I began to paint full time and I gained representation with the Everard Read gallery in Cape town. In the 10th year we took a 3 month trip in a converted Land Rover up through Africa and on the way my wife was offered a Teaching job in Xian,China. I was already scheduled to be heading over there on a residency with Swatch in Shanghai so once that concluded I joined my family for 2 years in Xian. From there we ended up in Ireland where we now live.
Q: Was your family supportive of your artistic endeavors?
A: Yes,very much so,but it’s not been an easy road and they knew that more than my naiveté fully understood. They backed me regardless and it’s been great to have their support.
Q: Is there someone special who has encouraged your work as an artist, if yes tell us about this person and how they have influenced your path as an artist?
A: My wife Elaine who I met at Art school when I was 21 has always stood by me.She’s been critically constructive and is great to bounce ideas off and has a keen eye although she doesn’t go for some of the darker imagery. A great mate.
Q: What are your hopes and dreams or future goals, where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
A: I don’t tend to look too far ahead and mostly take one step at a time with a vague idea of potentials on the horizon. The virus is causing many of us to rethink things as it drastically changes our existence on this planet and it’s going to most likely have long lasting repercussions we can’t yet fathom.10 yrs from now? No idea as I had no idea that I’d be living in the various places that I have lived in the last 10 yrs.I just let things roll along in their own way and tap the various opportunities that surface.
Q: If you could do any project with full funding what would it be?
A: I’d love to do a large Heronymous Bosch type hell scape. Perhaps an indoor mural or a 2 meter plus canvas?No time constraints and funded fairly. That would be a fantastic immersive project.
Q: If you could meet any artist who is no longer living, who would it be and why?
A: Bonnard or Vuillard. I have always admired their technique which is both crude and sophisticated, rich colours and wonderful marks.They were pushing things in a subtly different direction and it would have be an interesting time hanging around with them in Paris sharing conversations over rustic tables with good wine and Cheese.Popping out to the beautiful French countryside all in the interests and passion for Art.
Q: Your art has a decidedly surreal feeling, what influence’s your style?
A: Past Experiences or conversations are often starting points to a painting and I also like to play with words to stimulate content and conjure imagery in my mind. I don’t really do the kind of surrealism where perhaps a snake turns into a staircase:It still has to somehow make sense and be rooted in some semblance of order.I like to work in an intuitive way, allowing the medium, process and sensitivity to steer the way.The initial idea can be sketchy and vague allowing the process to maybe even take it somewhere else.
Q: What advice do you have for young artists just starting out?
A: Find the subjects and mediums that interest you and really explore them, learn from studying what the past has given us and once comfortable with what you are doing take it your own way.The internet is such a great tool for seeing what is out there and drawing inspiration from. Don’t be precious about getting it right as it really is a case of the more you practice the better you get.
Q: If you could change anything about the world right now, what would it be?
A: More Harmony with the natural world. To have more acceptance of humanity’s diversity and not use it as a platform for prejudice and discrimination and of course it would be wonderful if we could eradicate Greed.