I am a contemporary oil painter and traveller. My cultural experiences, being present in those moments later to be merged with the unfolding qualities of paint are what feeds my soul.
Some of my paint heroes are Rembrandt, Guillermo Lorca, Odd Nerdrum, Sorolla, Gerhard Richter, J.Kahrs.
I have a studio in Wales and travel as a pillion on a motorbike. This gives me the opportunity observe everyday life unfolding, sometimes anonymously from the bike and at other times in a more engaging way. We plan little and move on the weather and locals’ suggestions. It’s people, cultural nuances, nature and this planet that fascinate me.
Like a beachcomber I gather thoughts, conversations, observations and carefully arranged folders of images then retreat into my studio world of oil paint. This is where the alchemical experimentation begins as I distil my ideas on canvas making decisions about how I want to represent cultural nuances in paint.
To be perfectly frank this lifestyle has only been achieved in the last 12 months, which would explain why a lot of my more recent work reflects my learnings at the Broadway Atelier. The journey to get here has been rich and varied, initially from the UK, in the 80’s I qualified as an Occupational Therapist, then completed a Master’s in Design and Research for Disability. Moving to NZ in the 90’s the balance shifted towards the Arts, studying for my Bachelor in Media Arts whilst being thoroughly embedded in the thriving Hamilton art scene. A fellow artist and I created Draw inc. charitable trust, we had a ball, our studios based in a vacant department store we hosted multiple exhibitions for emerging artists in vacant shops around town. In 2014 family was calling and I shifted back to the Cardiff, UK, where the Broadway Atelier saved the day.
I should share a little more, about my therapy side as it has informed, not disrupted, my art as it has allowed me to be an International Wheelchair Rugby Classifier with the opportunity to travel the world classifying and meeting people from all walks of life. It is a privileged entry point into other cultures when you are engaging with people providing a service as opposed to being a tourist. In East Timor I met a gorgeous girl with cerebral palsy, down a dirt track, on a coffee plantation with her family where we drank coffee, whilst classifying her for Boccia. I have worked for a disabled sports foundation in Bali in exchange for an art studio above an ice cream factory in Denpasar. So many beautiful meetings, that have fuelled my love for people and their lifestyles.
My artistic medium has changed vastly over the years I have installed rose tinted greenhouses, glow in the dark resin shrines yet always returning to paint. A tutor who could not rest until he has defined his student’s genre described me as a Neo Impressionist but since attending an oil painting program at the Broadway Atelier in Cardiff, I would say I have found a niche in a contemporary old master’s style. I offer a resemblance to the world that is less direct, mediated by material touch and tradition. I continually experiment with painterly conventions and creating works that shift between abstraction and representation. It’s not easy, sometimes war rages and sometimes it's pure poetry.
The planets are now aligning perfectly, I plan to paint, travel, exhibit and apply for artist residencies overseas, I am currently liaising with a residency programme in India but for the rest of 2022 I am painting in Cardiff and New Zealand and exhibiting in Thailand in April 2023.
I would have to quote James Elkins when I say what painting is to me:
'A summary of ideas, gestures, brush strokes, body movements, a memory of pushing paint, diluting and mixing that transforms fluid into stone.'