What I draw and paint
The imagery in my work is an imaginative distillation of memories and sensations of the gardens, orchards, fields and lanes of my childhood in rural Derbyshire. It has obvious links with British Neo-Romanticism; wandering figures on long journeys, aspects of nature as metaphors for human joy and sorrow, animal and human figures expressive of mystery and spiritual longing.
Why I draw and paintI've never wanted to do anything other than make art, and I drew obsessively as a child. I worked in graphic design and illustration for many years but found my way into fine art, my first love. I think all good art inhabits the place where ordinary prosaic language breaks down, where words fail us. Over the years I've learned to go with the images that come, rather than trying to decide what I "ought" to be doing, and when someone really connects with an image it makes me feel I'm on the right track. Discovering an image, finding an effect, making connections - this is the pleasure of drawing and painting. You can read more about the inspiration behind my art here and you are very welcome to visit my own Manger Gallery and studio in Kings Newton, near Melbourne in Derbyshire.
How I draw and paint
I work in several different media, but drawing remains paramount for me. My pencil work is characterised by an extreme evenness of touch with finely graduated tonal areas, creating the transparent and interconnecting arcs which are a recurring feature of much of my work. My charcoal drawings show many of the same concerns, but are larger and freer, with much more room for improvisation. My colour work consists mostly of either acrylic on hand-made Indian paper, or an acrylic underpainting with a layer of Sennelier oil pastel on top, which creates an unusual gauzy effect.