What’s your background?
Art Foundation at York Art College was followed by a BA in English Media & Design from Southampton University and a postgraduate diploma in Art Psychotherapy from Sheffield Hallam. After working as a community artist and teacher I became artist in residence at York Hospital for six years. A regular contributor to North Yorkshire and York Open Studios I now work as a full time artist but still teach painting workshops. My work is in private and public collections both at home and abroad. I am represented by The Blue Tree Gallery in York and The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle.
Explain what you do in 100 words
The direction of my work has changed in the last two years with a move from city to country; from imagined landscapes which concentrate on design, colour and pattern, to landscapes which have their roots in direct observation. It is the natural world which inspires me and the spirit of nature I seek to celebrate and describe. Current work is a hybrid between the old and the new. I am always looking for new things to describe and ways to describe them.
What five words best describe your work?
Vibrant, rich, contemporary, explorative, narrative.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am involved with three projects at present; English landscape and places of special historic interest; Galicia in Northern Spain and the Sporades in Greece. The English landscape and special places will focus largely on Northumberland and Yorkshire. Next spring I plan to spend three months in Galicia to immerse myself in the language and culture. The Greek paintings will probably be done in the worst part of the English winter. I have the sketches and photographs. All I will need extra is my woodburner.
Which three artists most inspire you?
Barbara Rae, Richard Snowden and Mary Fedden
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Try to accept the feeling of not knowing what you are doing because if you know what you are doing you are not creating.
Favourite or most inspirational place in Yorkshire
A competition between Castle Howard and Burton Agnes Hall.
Tell us something we don’t know
This poem by Mevlana is about spiritual life and the invitation to constantly return to it. I have kept the crumpled postcard in a frame for the past thirty years and it is one of my most treasured possessions. It has relevance to the life of an artist and of course to the life of everyone. Even when you feel you ‘can’t do it’ you must return and not despair.
Come, come, whatever you are, it doesn’t matter
Whether you are an infidel, an idolater or a fire-worshipper,
Come, our convent is not a place of despair.
Come, even if you violated your swear
A hundred times, come again.