Born in a village high on the outlying hills of Pendle, high enough to be continuously surrounded by cloud and rain which, thanks to influence from my mother, means I have drawn and painted since being old enough to pick up a pencil. I now live in the Ribble Valley and I started painting seriously in 1994, after a climbing trip to Skye inspired me to pick up a paintbrush. I am part self taught and but was lucky enough in the early days after Skye to have a private tutor which helped me develop a professional attitude to painting as well as making the learning process quite formal. I previously taught in the School of Art History and Culture at Manchester University as a research student but since 2009 I have been running painting classes and demonstrating to art societies, which unfortunately does not leave much time for exhibitions.
Landscapes are my main interest - either mountains or water and maritime paintings (the rougher the sea the better). Watercolours and acrylics are my preferred media but with a recent leaning towards the use of a dip pen for strengthening up some of my watercolours. For maritime I find that oil rules supreme. I also enjoy abstract painting especially mountain abstracts. When painting out of doors I use pen and wash (using a limited pallet of colours) on cartridge paper for the sketching of a subject and the equipment does not take up to much room in a rucksack. When it pours down I switch to a graphite stick.
As a climber and lover of mountains my early work was influenced by the likes of Turner but I soon came to be drawn to the work of, James Fletcher Watson, Edward Wesson, Edward Siago and Rowland Hilder. I also love the sea and sail when I can which inspires me to paint maritime scenes. The biggest influence came when I discovered the work of Kyffin Williams. This transformed my sketching by directing me towards the use of Ink and bold loose pencil sketches and can be seen in the kit I carry about in my rucksack these days.
When painting in watercolour I use the wet into wet technique as I like to paint loose and quickly. With Acrylics I use them either like watercolours or oils (but they dry quicker). My oil paintings are always done alla prima, again because I like to paint quickly. Recently I have been experimenting with a combination of watercolour/gouache and pastel/charcoal to some effect.
All my exhibitions to date have been local ones and paintings sold have travelled as far south as Australia, all maritime scenes including 2 commissions to the Gold Coast, and as far west as Ireland. None have yet crossed the Atlantic. The most travelled paintings were two acrylics donated to the Black Dog Institute and were auctioned at the Red Centre in Alice Springs. Apart from travelling first from Lancashire to Australia they then took part in the Black Dog Ride, carried on a motorbike from Brisbane (via south Australia) to the auction in Alice Springs, roughly in the middle of Oz, a journey of about 3000 kilometres (1800 miles) which is about about the same as from London to Rostov (about 126 miles north east of Moscow). This earned me the honorary Australian title of “Mate”, which cannot be bought!
Acrylics, Gouache, Mixed Media, Oil, Oil pastel, Pastel, Pen And Ink, Pen And Wash, Pencil/Charcoal, Water soluble pastels, Watercolour, Watercolour Pencil
Abstract or Experimental, Flowers or Gardens, Landscape or Woodland Scene, Townscape or Streetscene