I am a self-taught artist with an affinity towards Landscape Oil Painting, Still Life and Portraits.
Impressionism, Expressionism and the Abstract Art movements, have had a great influenced on my approach to interpreting the natural environment.
I began my painting journey around the age of 27, after returning from a six week European music tour with the Celtic-punk-folk-rock band ‘The Tofu Love Frogs’.
I remember deciding to become a landscape artist and then wondering where to start.
I packed up a large piece of chipboard into my 1962 Morris Traveller, along with oil paints, brushes and palette knife that I had bought at High Barnet’s Car Boot Sale and set off to look for a spot to paint. I climbed over a wall to gain access into Friern Barnet Mental Health Hospital, which had closed the previous year in 1993. I was attracted to the imposing Victorian institution and eerie history. Thus began my journey into fine Art and later running a community mental health project across Nottinghamshire, where I applied my Arts background.
In order to gain some guidance and reference points I studied part time at Barnet College’s Fine Art Foundation Course, between ongoing gigging and international travel.
After two years, fresh from a painting spell in Cornwall, I took my portfolio of landscapes to the University of Hertfordshire and was offered a place on their BA hons Fine Art Degree programme. At that time I attended Life Drawing Classes at Middlesex University during the evenings.
At Hertfordshire University, I became very interested in sculpture (Anthony Caro, Gaudier-Breska, David Smith, Moore, Hepworth etc.). I took up wood carving and then made a Metal Sculpture (with an art dealer friend), to be displayed in the Healing Field at Glastonbury Festival.
Whilst at the festival a chance meeting led me to relocate to Nottingham, where I stopped any formal study and applied my artistic skills, knowledge and experience to working with young people involved in anti-social behavior. Thus began my association with community development and involving the arts as a method of community engagement and pathway of personal development for people from disadvantaged backgrounds and complex health conditions.
During the Lockdown, I started oil painting again and after many requests to make my work available to a wider audience decided to set up this website called 'Arts Wellbeing'. It had been so long since I had painted using oil paints that when I went to dig them out they were unusable!
Sometimes it is a good idea to have a fresh start. I hope you enjoy the paintings that will follow and that it sparks a motivation to engage with the arts and enhance your wellbeing and quality of life, as it has done for me.