‘I was bought a set of acrylic paints when I was 15 and gradually began to teach myself to make the most of this highly flexible medium. It has become my life’s work.
Following A-levels, I hugely enjoyed my yearlong Foundation Course at (the then) Manchester Polytechnic; throwing myself into 3d work and purely abstract painting for the first time.Yet, at the weekend, I would paint (and sell) small studies of garden birds, having already developed a keen interest in birdwatching.
I eventually turned professional on my 25th birthday and, 3 years later, received the first of my RSPB commissions for a set of Christmas cards. It was the ornithological seal-of-approval I had been looking for.
I have since designed plates for Spode and Danbury Mint, as well as hundreds of greetings cards for various publishers; Royles, Medici and Webb Ivory among them. Charities such as the British Heart Foundation and the Musicians Benevolent Fund have also used my designs on Christmas cards.
I have illustrated 3 children’s books.
I now publish my own cards and prints including my destinctive ‘Naughty by Nature’ range.
I have always worked on a very thick Bockingford watercolour paper, building up the image in layers from the smooth, wet-on-wet washes of the background to the fine details of the main subject.
But recently I have also been painting more freely on canvas, with a controlled splattering of gesso, overpainted with knife, brush and extreme enthusiasm!
Following 10 years on the organising committee of the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art, I was elected Chairman of Chester’s Grosvenor Art Society in April 2015. It is an exciting time for the Society, with increasingly popular exhibitions, and ‘ArtFest‘ now an established part of the Chester Food, Drink and LifeStyle Festival.
I live in Alsager, south Cheshire, with my partner Janet.
We regularly take part in a number of Art & Craft events including the Patchings Art Festival, the quarterly Artist and Designer Fair at Buxton and the annual BirdFair at Rutland Water.
I am a member of the Association of Animal Artists and The Wildlife Art Society (International) as well as my local South East Cheshire Ornithological Society, for whom I redesigned their logo to help celebrate their 50th anniversary celebrations.
This June, 2016, I celebrated 30 years as a professional artist and am still finding stimulating subjects, fresh ideas and new ways to express myself in acrylic paints.
I take my inspiration from the countryside around me and hope my appreciation of it shows through in my work!’