Statement

"I have tried many times in artist's statements to explain how overriding is my attention to the compositional abstract design when I am working, though it is difficult to explain in words the painting process.

Developing one's skill at representation is a bit like training for a sport, one just gets better till one hits one's own barriers. However I question that creativity in just honing a skill as in a sport.

Stepping back from representation an artist encounters all manner of new problems that the dominant painted image usually disguises or minimises. One becomes more aware that one is managing relationships between marks, dynamics, and colours. Painting is no longer picture-making, it is now choreography. It immediately becomes a more creative activity.

Every paint-mark I put down is concerned with its effect on, and effect from, the other marks already within the canvas rectangle; I make little attempt at making these marks the building-blocks of a recognisable image, yet to my constant surprise the image appears by itself over time. Observation is the source material for the marks I put down, but I choose tone, colour, and dynamic in my observation rather than detail. This I am sure is closer to how we perceive actuality.

The magical yin-yang tension between the abstract construction of coloured marks and the image for me is one of the most important elements in painting, yet the hardest to convincingly achieve without one eclipsing the other."

Life

My schooling was at St George’s, Harpenden, England. There I was fortunate to have had a great art teacher who set me on my way, he taught me to start exploring the intellectual elements in painting.

I went to art schools at St Albans  and Liverpool, where I obtained my degree. At Foundation course I had two inspirational tutors, one taught me to question, the other the passion. At my degree course my tutor thought I had no talent and kept telling me so – this was a challenge and taught me the anger needed to survive.

Four years at art school seemed enough, I was anxious to get out and paint in the real world away from the apathy of art students, so I rejected the idea of a post-graduate course. Instead I worked on a series of large landscapes in London for two years.

I returned to St Albans Art School to teach life drawing for three years.

In 1979 I moved to Italy to paint full time, working on landscapes and trying to learn about light and colour.

In 1997 I moved to Northern Spain to work from a different landscape. I have also developed still life further, this I have always considered an intense & controllable discipline.

2013,  I sold the house & studio in Catalonia, & will start to build a studio in Southern France in 2015. Meanwhile I am working in my studio in Kent.

I only started showing my work in galleries in 1996, prior to that I felt I wasn’t ready.