I grew up less than a mile away from where I now live. I made my first oil paintings as a teenager in a basement studio while attending Saturday morning classes at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts. This is when I realised that art was going to be at the centre of my life. Later I became a full-time student at Camberwell before going on to the Royal Academy Schools.
I made a series of drawings and etchings at London Zoo after a 2-month painting trip in Kenya. A sustained phase of work developed. The Mappin Terraces and other historic buildings were a focus for several paintings.
Another series of studies began when I saw a pig's head in a butcher's window and decided to buy it as a subject for a drawing. After that the butcher used to save them for me. Having intended to make just one study, I ended up making dozens of etchings, large drawings and several paintings.
My father, grandfather and other relations were dock workers and so the connection with the Thames is strong, especially the Pool of London. Over several years I had access to some ground near the Royal Docks. It was a quiet place where I could work without interruption. The old warehouses provided subject matter and there were big views of the Thames.
I developed a looser style to paint the changing atmospheric conditions and the various boats and river craft as they sailed past. The tides, the light and the weather all affect the character of the Thames. I try and get all of this into my paintings.

For some years I have painted near the Pyrenees around Ceret. There are interesting contrasts between the orchards in blossom and the higher ground which is a wilderness of dry wooded scrubland inhabited by wild boar.
The Tramontane wind affects the landscape, making the cork oaks bend and grow in irregular shapes. The area presents a different colour and tonal range as the light is so much stronger than at home.
A few years ago I painted in the Segovia region of Spain which is on the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela. The countryside is beautiful with early crops of corn, but it is also tinged with an atmosphere created by herds of grazing fighting bulls and vultures flying above.
Developments in response to working in the open apply to studio work. I look for the fundamental dynamics of composition, colour and form to create a sense of rhythm and movement.
Portraits and life painting present unique problems. I try and convey the fleshiness and presence of the sitter. Resemblance is very much to the fore when painting people yet it is one of the most subjective and fluid elements.
Each painting presents unique problems and finding solutions makes the process endlessly fascinating.

You are viewing the text version of this site.

To view the full version please install the Adobe Flash Player and ensure your web browser has JavaScript enabled.

Need help? check the requirements page.

Get Flash Player