'Painting for me is all about switching off and going to my happy place. I'm never happier than when I am totally absorbed with a new creation or teaching an inspiring workshop'
I have been drawing for as long as I can remember, and by the time I was 11 years old it was very apparent to my teachers and family that I had a skill. Back then my favourite subjects to draw were the current pop stars and actors of that time and everything was created using a graphite pencil, probably a 2B!
I don’t remember harbouring any particular aspirations to become an artist at that age, as I was lacking in confidence but by my late teens I had decided that an artist was what I wanted to be and so I studied Graphic Design. When I left college, I was still unsure which direction to take. Luckily, I got the opportunity to start my journey within the print industry, so I jumped at the chance starting as a press operator and moving on to be a print estimator and sales executive during the following decade.
It wasn’t until 1999, that my mother-in-law, who was also an artist encouraged me to start drawing again. It was over 10 years since I had picked up a graphite pencil and as I gained in confidence, I decided I’d like to learn how to add some colour and began using coloured pencils.
I dabbled for a while with water colour and oils, but I was too impatient to wait for things to dry, so I returned to my pencils. Irene (my mum-in-law) introduced me to soft pastel sticks and from then on, everything I produced was in pastels. I loved the immediacy of the medium, there was no drying time and no set up required. I was hooked. I especially loved that I could blend the colours together with my finger and create really, smooth tones. After experimenting with different textured cards and papers, I settled on a smooth card that gave my pastel paintings the photo-realistic finish I wanted to achieve.
However, I was still looking to add even finer detail to my paintings and that is when Colin Bradley one of my art hero’s, made me aware of pastel pencils. The rest as they say is history!
Wolves are my absolute favourite animal. There is something so special about their stare that reaches into my soul and instantly connects me to them.