Q – Could you introduce yourself briefly to the readers?
A .- I am a professional artists and tutor, I live in Swindon and am Chair for The Swindon Artists Forum, whose Gallery is currently in Swindon’s Brunel Plaza. I have run courses at private studios in Berkshire and in Spain, and I now give private tuition for adults one to one or small groups in and around Swindon. Teaching gives me a real buzz and I enjoy proving to absolute beginners that they CAN paint. I work in my studio at home as much as I can.
Q – How did you become interested art?
A - I have had a love of art from an early age, I suppose it is in the genes as my uncle designed stamps for the Canadian Post Office. Being a shy child, I found art a satisfying means of self-expression, and I was blessed with wonderful art teacher at secondary school who encouraged and mentored me. I was asked to paint for, and tutor friends and their children, and spent many productive years painting pet and child portraits. For fifty plus years I have painted, drawn and taught, and have gained so much experience from that. In the past I attended various courses to learn new techniques and styles, and was asked to become a permanent tutor at a Private Studio in Berkshire, and have taught in their associate Studio in Spain. Now, I mostly paint for myself and give private tuition, although I still take commissions.
Q – What inspires you as an artist?
A. I was born in South Devon and have a love of the sea and the countryside, which reflects in the subjects of many of my painting. Inspiration comes from a glimpse of a light change on a hillside, or a child playing on the beach, a contrast of leaf tones in the sun; I just observe nature.
Q – What is your favourite medium?
The current medium of choice is Acrylic, it is so versatile and malleable, it also suits my spontaneous style. However, I still go back to my roots on occasion, and produce smaller traditional work in watercolour and pastels.
Q. Can you tell us more about your work?
In the work I produce I attempt to convey an atmosphere, be it subdued or vibrant, and also to create a harmonious composition using tonal blends and contrasts together with a balanced placing of elements. I love to work large scale, restricted only by the size of my studio.
Q. How would you define your style?
I tend to work in what I call ‘Freestyle’, though there is always an initial plan, the painting flows and almost takes on a life of its own, instinct dictates the composition and choice of colours. If it feels right, it probably is!
Black bamboo B
Q. What are your influences; artists from the past or present who inspire you?
A. Edward Hopper and Turner are great favourites of mine, also Mark Rothko, I love the seeming simplicity of their work which at the same time can evoke so much emotion.
Q. – How do you choose the subjects of your work?
A. Quite often I see an image and the painting develops in my mind’s eye, and I am compelled to produce it, however, the plan is always flexible.
Q - How do you prepare yourself for an exhibition or a show like Open Studios?
A – It depends on the space available and the venue. Most of my work is large, so hanging it in an appropriate location is important, sometimes it is necessary to show smaller pieces when there are constraints. Some galleries express a preference for ‘Foliage’ or ‘Scapes’ so a mental scan of the work in my studio results in an assembly of themed pieces; it remains then only to select the pieces suitable for the available space. Most of my work is unframed, it is for the personal taste of the purchaser to frame or not as it suits.
Q – Are there territories (media, subjects, etc.) you want to explore in the coming years?
A - I would like to develop my abstract art to a more fluid level, I think this genre is a very personal expression and I would like to explore the possibilities it presents and be confident its execution. However, I am open to possibilities and opportunities as they arise. In art you are always learning, about art practice, and about yourself, I find it very liberating and absorbing.
Q, As an artist, what would be your dream?
A - Do I have a dream? Well, a large studio and gallery by the sea, where I can paint and teach, exhibit and sell would be wonderful.
Q Could you share one thing that you have learnt in your own art practice that would be useful to other artists?
A - To all my students I say ‘there are no rules in art, only techniques. Experiment!’ Be true to your own creativity, but be open to inspiration and ideas from any source.