Education & experience
I am originally from Oxford. After leaving school I decided to go traveling around Europe and West Africa. After three years I went on to study fine art at Portsmouth Polytechnic. I gained a degree in fine art (painting) and then went on to live and work in London for Tiranti the sculpture specialists.
I moved to Essex in 1992 and continued to commute to London for work for another ten years. During this period I began to work with a number of colleges around the country as a lecturer demonstrating various techniques. In 2002 I went on to work for New Hall School (Chelmsford, Essex) as an art technician. It was during this time that in my own art practice I became interested in the landscape of Eastern England. I moved to Norfolk ten years ago. I now work as a full time artist at my studio in west Norfolk.
As an artist there is something I find acutely compelling in the landscapes of West and North Norfolk. The empty, isolated panoramas of the Wash and of the North Norfolk coast are a short trip from my home and my paintings draw strongly on the sense of space, light and atmosphere that I find there.
The Wash in particular fascinates me. A place without human presence, its shifting vistas of mudflat, salt marsh, sand and open sea combine with changes of weather, time and light to create at times, a vast, featureless emptiness. The shifting and blurring of the borders of earth, sky and sea fills me with a sense of awe and sometimes of danger and I find excitement in the often iridescent light.
The challenge facing me as an artist is to remake on canvas the monumental yet momentary and fluid qualities that I encounter in these environments and their natural phenomena.
I paint in the studio, from memories and recollected impressions and from sketches and photographs taken in the field. My approach is reflective, intuitive and often subliminal. I apply, remove and re-apply paint in the very flexible and physical manner that oil paint allows. I work over time, repeatedly layering paint and building up the surface of the painting until I have achieved a specific sense of place or atmosphere. I often seek to balance isolation and absence with a sense of harmonious calm and stillness.
The paintings involve a pursuit of things that are indistinct, elusive and ever-changing. I strive for paintings with a liquid, viscous quality where ambiguities of surface and reflection and of depth and distance can combine to convey the ambiguities of land, sea and sky.