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When I was at school I was encouraged by my school art teacher to follow an artistic career but knowing I would be unable to support myself doing what I loved I took up a carpentry apprenticeship. It was only when I was twenty-one and had finished my apprenticeship that I realised I had to follow my dream and I returned to education. I completed a Foundation course at Sutton Coldfield Art College, followed by a degree course in Fine Art at Exeter College of Art.
After graduating, I spent six years in the USA working as a muralist. Since returning to the UK I have earned my living as an artist and also as a musician - for 25 years I was the drummer in a blues band called the ‘Junkyard Angels' and I now play in a jazz quartet called 'Shufflebones'.
My career as an artist has been varied and full, I was very proud to have been elected into the Royal Society of British Artists and then to receive their highest award of the Lazlo Medal in 2003. I’ve also had several one-man exhibitions in London and the West Country and have also exhibited in mixed shows the UK and the USA and I look forward to working with Washington Green moving forward with my artwork.
I’ve always said that painting has it’s own language, you can feel it but you cannot grasp it; a bit like Lost in Translation. I play with the viewers, using images that hover between conscious and subconscious states hopefully producing paintings that provoke a hearty mixture of wit and mysticism. In my opinion painting is very much like music. Often the artist or composer intends to form a beginning, middle and an end but finds himself drawn off in a slightly different direction to make his creation look or sound 'right'. It is a philosophical experience, which is easier felt than told.
I try to create a three-dimensional dream-like quality to my art and to do this I paint with acrylic on board then overlay this with a light oil glaze to enhance depth and colours. To speed up the process of putting my ideas down onto canvas I use acrylic first to work out and change my composition. As acrylic dries very quickly it allows me to make instant alterations, then once I am happy with the layout I over paint in oil, using brushes, palette knives and kitchen scourers to give a soft finish to painted strokes. The different tools I use when painting result in a certain theatrical feel that I love; ultimately my work is amusing, I often hear people giggling over a painting and that’s because I leave these conversation pieces entirely open to interpretation.