If I hadn't been an artist then I think I would have studied psychology. The way the human brain works has always interested me. The 'fly on the wall' documentary that follows someone around as they make life changing decisions, holds more fascination for me than any wildlife programme.
My work very much reflects this, being firmly centred around people and the everyday things that they use,
with subjects as diverse as the `seven deadly sins` to a moment in time or a particular place in the world.
I trained as a graphic designer at art college and typography in all its guises from books, cd`s and albums to food packaging all has its part to play.
Packaging especially speaks with its own voice; originally designed to compete with other packaging from the store shelf, catching the attention of the shoppers and saying ”Buy me, I'm just what you're looking for”.
This very effective form of retail communication is perfect for my use as an artist to convey a particular message within my work, either as a visual metaphor or to evoke an era most effectively.
With all of my artwork the initial idea is firstly played out in my head where I visualise the finished painting and how it might work.
If I think it's worth developing then I move on to the research stage, this is where the internet proves invaluable.
I make so many notes on various bits of paper and this helps to focus in on what is really needed, weeding out what is not needed as I go along.
Once I have the definitive list I then seek out the items which can be like a treasure hunt at times, as I have to buy, make or substitute what I don't already have.
The assembly stage is without doubt the most fun part of the whole process. It's a bit like set design with a cardboard box being the stage.
I don't notice the time passing by as I spend hours positioning things in just the right place. And all this happens before I've even started to paint!
Sketching onto the heavyweight watercolour paper is made easier by first accurately drawing the perimeters of the box.
I use a ruler to make it as square as possible, as the mount of the frame will expose any discrepancy straight away.
I then under paint with brown watered down gouache. This is where I can perfect the drawing a little more.
Gouache is a lot like oil paint in the way the layers build up, but I find it to be much more versatile than oil paint as it can be reworked once dry.
I didn't start painting until I was in my late twenties. I always used pencil or pencil crayon before that, advancing to pastel pencils as they were so much richer than pencil crayons.
I volunteered to help out with a local amateur dramatic society, who it turns out didn't already have a scenery artist and they practically bit my hand off!
It worked well for both sides as it gave me the confidence to start producing paintings of my own.
At first I tried acrylic and Alkyd, neither of which I got on well with, but when I first used gouache I knew straight away that it was the medium for me.
I still use the pastel pencils, especially for portraiture, as I find they work beautifully with the skin tones.
I am always trying to develop as an artist and my latest venture is the stained glass paintings, beginning with `The Wales window of Alabama`:Which tells the story of a stained glass window, so quite an appropriate subject with which to start that particular genre.
2021 Mall Galleries & online, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, London
2020 Discerning Eye, on line only exhibition
2020 Old Courthouse Gallery, LAS members exhibition, Ambleside, Cumbria
2019 Menier Gallery, SGFA `Draw 19`
2019 Agora Gallery, 34th Chelsea International Art Competition, New York
2019 RBSA Gallery, SGFA Centenary Exhibition, Birmingham
2019 Bankside Gallery, SGFA Centenary Exhibition, London
2019 RK Burt Gallery, SGFA Centenary exhibition, London
2018 Menier Gallery, SGFA `Draw 18`, London
2017 Menier Gallery, SGFA `Draw 17`, London
2015 Menier Gallery, SGFA `Draw 15`, London
2018 Dover Gallery, `The Art of Quilting`, Farfield Mill, Sedbergh, Cumbria
2017 Beach Hut Gallery, `Cumbrian Life`, Cumbria
2015 Mall Galleries, Society of women artists, London
2012 Mall Galleries, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, London
2011 Mall Galleries, Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, London
2010 Mall Galleries, Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, London
2008 Mall Galleries, Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, London
2008 Mall Galleries, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, London
2007 Mall Galleries, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, London
2006 Mall Galleries, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, London
2006 Bankside Gallery, 21st Century Watercolour Exhibition, London
2005 Mall Galleries, Society of Women Artists, London
2005 Mall Galleries, Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, London
2004 Mall Galleries, Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sulptors & Gravers, London
2004 Mall Galleries, Society of Women Artists, London
2000 Mall Galleries, Discerning Eye, London
1999 Mall Galleries, Singer & Freidlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, London