b. 1973 UK, Durham
Born and brought up in the north east of England, Durham, Sunderland, I completed a degree course in Fine Art in 1995 at the University of Central Lancashire, moved to Edinburgh in 1995. I am a father of one son Charlie, brother, dad, friend, colleague
I work from a home studio, painting on a large easel using traditional oil paints on fine grade linen and panels, which I prime and sand with several coats to a smooth finish. I take inspiration from many sources, the local environment, people, found images, and admire classic, modern and contemporary painters
I paint what I see, what I imagine, places I’ve been, places I haven’t. Seafaring, journeys, navigation, trade routes, these are in my heritage, and in us all. It is an innate human condition to imagine and explore in our minds. The world seems small with modern technology, but is immense, mountains, and ancient, giving a perspective on the now.
Before the era of photography, I often think how we used to visualise distant places, based on drawings and writings of returning travellers, how much more vibrant that would have been, using our imagination. My work references the rich tradition of recording other places, blue tiles, Portuguese azulejos and delft, and how ancient civilisations made sense of life.
I try to express what it means to be alive, connections, love, tragedy, existence, the age old questions mythologised by the ancient Greeks, river of woe and the underworld. I’m keenly aware of the magic and fragility of it all, I have been lucky in this world, and in many ways my work aims to celebrate friendship, family, inclusion.
Colour and pigments are important to me, colour is pleasure. The physical act of painting, using traditional materials, fabulous physical stuff resonates with me in the modern day. Painting for me is difficult, often frustrating and always surprising. It is a connection to the past and hopefully the future.
Bright futures I (2021)
Oil on linenl 30 x 30cm