Who are you?
I am a British abstract artist living and working from his home in Emsworth. I was born and has lived the majority of his life in and around the Portsmouth area. As a young boy the family moved to the United States for a short while before returning to their home here on the south coast. I studied art, design and photography and completed a degree in Communication Design.
What type of artist are you?
As a professional graphic designer and photographer my creative path is often restricted by the requirements of a client brief. When in my studio I’m free to do anything without direction or restriction and with no one to please but myself. It’s my time to experiment with techniques and processes. My early abstract paintings are bold and very colourful featuring sea and skyscapes, generally large format in acrylic on canvas. Through exploration I developed new techniques and discovered acrylic pouring and the effects of chemical dispersion. Combining the basic process of acrylic pouring before developing the work further with chemicals and heat. These abstract works were also produced in large format on canvas. Throughout this time I have played with soft pastel, watercolour and monoprinting, but always gravitating back to acrylics.
Do you have a background in art/design – when did you first start your creative journey?
Throughout my childhood I had an interest in art and craft often making things and exploring materials. This interest developed and I followed the creative arts through college and university later focussing my attention to graphic design and photography which I now practice professionally. It wasn’t until 2016 that I rediscovered my passion and energy for painting and expressing myself on canvas. I am very excited about what the future holds.
Can you describe your creative process?
When I’m in my studio I’m in my own world. I have music playing, I relax, sometimes with a glass of wine or a beer. It’s my time. I have everything I need within reach and I allow my instincts to take over. With a busy work and family life, finding time to escape to the studio is difficult, so when the opportunity arises I am bursting with stuff I want to do.
What or who inspires you?
I don’t find inspiration in specific individuals as such – but I absorb everything I see and take time to explore the work of others that capture my attention. I’m inspired and energised by the process of creating and it’s exciting to see what emerges each time.
What do you enjoy most about the process?
Escaping the outside world and falling into a zen-like state where time disappears and allowing myself to explore, experiment and express myself with no bounds. It’s a physical release for me when putting paint to canvas. In my recent work, spending time outdoors gathering source material has been invigorating.
Can you describe your studio/workspace?
My cozy garden studio is wonderful. It’s full to the brim with art materials and completed works. The summer months are a productive time for me. The french doors swing open and I spread myself out into the garden.
What keeps you going whilst you work?
The intermittent opportunities I get, to actually escape to the studio and produce something, means I need nothing more than a good soundtrack and a simple idea to get going. It’s a race against the clock before I’m called back to the house to cook dinner, look after my little ones or be a dad and husband generally!
What can we expect to see from you on this years’ art trail?
In my latest series of works I combine my experience as a photographer, my understanding of light, colour and texture, and my eye for discovering the unique. Stepping away from the large format canvas this work is more conceptual and has demanded greater thought and time away from the studio. While these new works may appear to have been created using paint or soft pastel, they are in fact close-up photographs some of which feature recognisable shapes, like shorelines or horizons, while others feature interesting detail and colours that are simply pleasing to the eye. These images are then giclée printed onto the highest quality archival paper.
Where are you exhibiting?
This year you can find me the Emsworth Sports and Social Club on Havant Road. I’ll be displaying a wide variety of work including paintings large and small, photographs, textiles and prints mounted and framed. There’s something for everyone.
Why did you want to take part in the trail?
I’ve been living in Emsworth since 2018 and have been working and socialising in Emsworth since 1999. I discovered the trail a few years ago and at that time knew a handful of participating artists. I felt a wave of inspiration. The trail gave me a reason to start painting, so I entered in 2017 and now I can’t imagine not being involved. The trail pushes me to continue developing my work and gives the visitors a reason to visit my show each year.
What are your artistic ambitions?
I have big ambitions and at 36 I hope to have many years ahead. The pride in seeing someone you don’t know fall in love with your work and place it in their home is overwhelming and the feeling never gets old. I really enjoy the diversity in my professional career but I would be thrilled for my art to take a bigger share of my time and provide a more regular income.
Any other fun facts?!
In between freelance jobs I am a secondary education supply teacher and from 2007-2012 my wife and I taught ballroom dance.