I am an artist with studios located in Retford, Nottinghamshire, and London Docklands and specialise painting large floral portraits.
Born in 1935 near the village of Thorn, in Yorkshire in what my father called a converted railway carriage—third in line of an eventual family of ten kids.
Being brought up in a mining village where almost every one worked as a coalminer, it was inevitable and expected that I should follow suit and also become a miner upon leaving school.
Old school reports indicated that I was a poor scholar but excelled at art. A large lump of my working life was wasted as an underground coalminer. I filled my spare time with drawing and painting dreaming that one day I would escape the pit and become an artist. I clearly remember the underground blackness and the contrasting blinding dazzling colours, which shouted at me upon surfacing. I am quite sure this regular explosion of colour has influenced the way I try to portray the vibrant colours into my floral images.
Most of my time is now spent splashing lots of paint on large areas such as backcloths for the theatres painting large colourful children’s murals drawing cartoons for newspapers and painting flowers. I have had several exhibitions of my floral paintings, the most recent one was held at the Space Arts Centre in London docklands, where I sold seven of my paintings. Four of my paintings are published as limited editions and two were published as open editions in Canada. Many of my pictures have been used as greetings cards. At the SAA artist of the year competition in London I was awarded “ Best Professional Artist” for years 2001 and 2002.A recent commission was for a sunflower, which was used as the “ logo” for the University of Leicester Inst.of L.L.Learning.
Floral painting is my speciality. I try to make my flowers jump out of the picture and shock. I paint in acrylic colours as they have a definite boldness, which enables me to create the brilliance of colour and contrast, which I want to capture. I paint on 100% rag surface board, which supports the volume of paint I use.
I emphasise the colours, and by designing the shapes of the subject and using prominent highlighting and shading I try to make the subject appear to jump out of the frame. A client recently rewarded me by saying that she likes to look at her painting early evening when the acrylic paint seems to glow and the flower looks three-dimensional. I always paint larger than life and my flowers can be up to twenty times larger than real. This not only enables me to be bold but also enables me to paint in great detail. My more recent work has a contemporary modern background which is created using colours which contrast and enhance the floral subject. These colours are laid on the board an allowed to run and naturally mix to create various effects. When dry, the subject is painted on top in great detail.