My Artwork History
Having received no formal training in art, my love for painting, and art in general, stems from many hours as a small boy spent: either filling in colouring books; or drawing Spitfires in my school note books; to drawing birds of prey after school and completing colour by numbers paintings that I had been given at birthdays and Christmas.
Around 25 years ago I finally plucked the courage to pick up a paint brush, and I have been painting on and off since then. Around 5 years ago I decided to get more serious with my art, with more experimentation into my own works and less copying my influences.
I started off painting with oils, as I love the texture and finish of the medium over watercolours, and I have produced many works with this medium. Over the past 2 years however, I have slowly transferred to acrylics, as their drying time is far superior to oils, and they can be used in a similar way to create similar effects, all mediums have their idiosyncrasies though, and each takes time to learn and understand.
Recently I have returned to pencil drawing again, as I love to produce artwork in this way. For me it is the purest form of artwork, as you use the minimum amount of equipment, and the finished result is down to your eye and the varied touch of the pencil on the paper.
My first influences were the French Impressionists, as I loved their use of colour, loose brushwork and pastels. After trying out many “learn to paint” books, I found Jack Vettriano, who to me, was like a shining beacon. I copied many of his works, some of which I still have today, and I am continually intrigued by the narrative that is within all of his work. This narrative has influenced me greatly, as I now attempt to place a mood into my work, through both the image itself, and the title of the piece.
Other early influences would be Paul Kenton for his outlining technique and loose paint application, something I have used in my recent works, and Bruno Tinucci for his application of the paint and use of vibrant colour.
Two other artist who I admire greatly are Fabian Perez, and Todd White. Both of these artists concentrate on female figurative work, with their own very distinctive styles which I admire greatly.
My current work is now mostly produced in acrylics, as the speed at which they dry is a major bonus, as well as sometimes being a major irritation. All of my early work was produced in oils, and I still love the texture of this medium, but some of my work isn’t suited to oils due to the extended drying time, such as the heavy impasto on the Tuscan landscapes, and the knife paintings that I have recently produced.
For the application of paint, I generally use Acrylic brushes, but, fingers, the back end of a brush, and even teaspoons have been used previously. Basically whatever is needed to get the desired effect will be used.
I have a number of subject matter and styles that I paint in. I really love to vary what I paint, as I am inspired to paint different subjects on a daily basis.
Poppy filled Tuscan landscapes have featured recently, mostly knife painted, (plus a Teaspoon in one of them), along with semi abstract scenes of Blythfield reservoir. Knife painting is a beautifully free and expressive way to paint, detail is secondary to the overall impression of the image.
Graphite and pencil pieces centre on female figurative work, mostly with silk and satin in the subject matter, as I am fascinated by this material, and it is beautiful to portray.
Pop art portraits are also a favourite of mine, as I love to portray the subject with the minimum of colour in a pared back fashion, and only the lips or eyes in colour, thus giving a striking feel to the piece, as your eyes are automatically drawn to the critical features of the subject.
Pop art style is also strongly represented in my coastal scenes. All of this work is taken from photographs taken in and around Mevagissey Harbour in Cornwall, over the past few holidays. There is an equal amount of symmetry and disorder to a bunch of boats floating and bobbing around in the harbour which I have tried to capture in these pieces.
It has taken me some time to get to this stage with my art, as I have tried the usual routes of exhibiting in galleries, and shops, too little or no avail. I find that galleries and have their own agenda, as do many shops and retail outlets, usually with a number of artists waiting to have their works hung for viewing and sale, which is why I have taken the step of developing my own website so as to get my own work out there, on my own terms.
When you purchase a piece of my work, you are purchasing something that I alone have crafted from an idea or image, as seen by me, the artist, in my own style, that doesn’t have to pander to the requirements of a gallery. Furthermore, the gallery does not take a high percentage of the price of the piece, to pay for wall space and marketing, which allows me to offer that saving to the purchaser.
And whilst we are talking about purchasing, all of my work that is sold in the UK mainland will be hand delivered by me, as I am passionate about my work and the quality within it, and wherever possible I try to ensure that this quality and passion is transferred to the new owner.
My work is sometimes framed and sometimes not. Whilst it is true that the frame can make or break a piece of artwork, I accept that there are constraints within this approach. If a piece is not framed, it will obviously be cheaper as I do not have to recoup the cost of the frame, and the new owner is at liberty to either frame the piece or not. There is a current trend not to frame stretched, normal depth canvasses (18mm thick), which I accept, and I would like to think that any piece of my work is strong enough to stand alone in this regard.
Other owners may wish to frame a piece, such that the frame matches their internal décor, which again is a condition of selling art that I accept. For some owners it is important that the piece matches and compliments other aspects of a room or wall, whilst to others, a piece can stand alone as a signature piece and command its own space within an area.