I grew up in Cornwall, a mere stone's throw away from the artists' haven of St Ives and I remember being fascinated by the power and beauty of the art I saw around me from a very early age. As a teenager, I was the 'arty' one among my peers (you know, the one with long curly hair, ethnic clothing and a whiff of patchouli) and after leaving school I toddled off to Wales to study wildlife photography and illustration at Dyfed College of Art. However, being young and free spirited, I dropped out of art college and crossed the ocean to seek a more exciting life. Thus, my formal art education ended and I went on to earn a living in the somwhat less creative (but occasionally exciting) world of IT.
I started painting pet portraits purely by chance in the late 1980s, using my own pooches as subjects whilst rediscovering my art. My creations seemed to impress friends and family and even resulted in a few random requests for paintings of Fido or Tiddles. However, it wasn't until a chance meeting with a former art teacher, who told me I should 'get out there' and sell my art for what it was worth, that I realised I should never give up on my art.
Redundancy in 2012 was a turning point for me. I bit the bullet and moved up a gear with the painting ....... finally, I had the time. It was incredibly liberating and challenging at the same time. I thrive on a challenge though and I like to stretch myself artistically by jumping out of my 'safe' box now and then by using different techniques and media. I'm mostly inspired by nature. The challenge for me is to reflect this in different ways.
Pet portraits and wildlife paintings allow me to plonk myself right into my comfort zone, as the realism suits my eye for detail. Painting commissions allows me to create art for others to enjoy and I see it as a privilege to do so. Many hours are spent on each commission and every detail is aimed at creating a keepsake that will be treasured for many years. I am fortunate to have painted for clients from across the UK and as far afield as the US and Australia, although it's especially lovely when I get to meet people face to face. Most commissions are for pet portraits, although I'm just as happy to paint other subjects - all you have to do is ask!
If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! And if you haven't already seen examples of my work, follow this link to my galleries.