So, y’all have to do an artist statement sometime… here’s mine.
I have been living and working in Bournemouth most of my life. Although the landscape of the coastline has inspired many artists it is the internal deeper landscape of the heart which moves me.
Painting for me is a journey, one which I undertake with an open heart and without expectation. It is a communication for me with something else, something intangible, a higher power that offers me the opportunity to see and express beauty.
I am thankful to everyone who has been part of that journey, the models and the people around me who continue to support me. Without them none of this would be possible.
The artwork is just one of the things that entertain me. I also enjoy teaching and have run classes on drawing and painting. I present workshops/talks on creative thinking, motivation and the inner critic which have been a great encouragement to some of my students. I enjoy learning too and read poetry. I act. I work with the students at Bournemouth University acting in their films because it’s fun and very easy, although remembering lines is not my forte.
For the past three years I have been having a conversation with Chris Green a painter who I drink with about colour. He is a master of harmony and his influence can be seen in my recent work where I have become adventurous with colour in new ways.
In the painting I seek to make something extraordinary. My background in illustration and graphic design greatly influences the art as does the choice of genre. Figurative painting has rules. The people have to look like people and I enjoy this discipline knowing that it is me setting the rules for my work, until I reach a barrier then realise I did not choose to be limited in that way. It’s a tricky thing to express but not all of our choices are ours. Many of the things we hold dear as us, our identity are not really us. Life then becomes about shedding those paradigms and moving to a truth within us. I don’t know where the work will take me. I enjoy making it and will continue. I think the scale will change as I gain confidence with colour. Most of the recent work is small, 12″x16″ and I’m looking to do some larger square pieces.
I was always very dissatisfied with the art education I received in this country. I think I was just unlucky to be born when I was. I wanted to be taught technique but most of my tutors did not know how to draw and so their own confidence in teaching those basic skills was poor. Also too many students. The art schools I attended were so crowded and I was so young… So I call myself self-taught although I did go through the system; or partly, as I dropped out of every course I attended.
And always at my back I hear… I was diagnosed at two years old with a heart murmur. Not a life threatening thing but I couldn’t do sports, a great chagrin to a competitive athletic boy. I watched from the touchline as the other boys played football and did sports days. Eventually they would send me to the art room to pass the time here I developed drawing as a way to compete with the other boys. It was my “shtick” and it worked. I got attention.
The heart thing caught up with me as I approached 40 years old and so my midlife crisis was quite dazzling. I left my wife and daughter, became an artist and started painting sexy nudes. No surprise really, those were the first things I had perfected back in the art room to impress the other boys. My life today is a banquet of delights amongst the penury.