Born in Stourbridge in the West Midlands I had a happy but pretty average childhood for a kid growing up in the eighties. My favourite place to be was outside but if I was ever inside I loved to be creative, especially with art and later on playing guitar and music.On leaving school I went to art college to study 3D design and although I enjoyed the course, as with many teens I was easily distracted and became easily derailed. I soon began to lose my way and eventually dropped out of art college early.
The next few years went from bad to worse, so much so that despite persistence from my family I stubbornly entered my twenties, homeless, in a strange town and my only possessions could be carried in the pockets of my coat.I hadn’t picked up a paintbrush or guitar for years but it was at this point that I started to rediscover my creative side. It was this neglected creative drive that inspired me to start writing songs and playing music again and I spent the next few years gigging with various bands up and down the country before I finally decided to go back and reclaim my education. I applied for university and it was a toss-up between studying art and studying music, but I decided to go for music.
However, while at university in Cardiff was inspired to try oil painting and was instantly hooked. Before I knew it friends and family were asking if I could do portrait commissions and ironically soon the art was helping to pay for the education in music. I was determined to do well in university and it was hard but I left with a first class BA Hons.However, I was loving the painting so much that I was curious enough to see if I could paint some original compositions and to my surprise they turned out ok, not only that but I was lucky enough to sell them too. I have since spent the last few years living in Cardiff selling my work both privately and in UK galleries while developing the style and technique that I have today.
InspirationPeople sometimes look at my work and draw comparisons to other contemporary artists but as a painter I’ve always been more inspired by artists like Vermeer, John William Waterhouse and in particular Caravaggio. I’m amazed by not only the way they painted with their dramatic use of light and realism but by the way they managed to make their paintings look like a scene straight out of a modern movie.
I’ve been a massive fan of film and music my whole life so I suppose it’s hardly surprising that I took influence from them both when I first started to paint and still do today. A lot of my very early work contained musicians or scenes from films and I still find myself scrambling for the remote to pause a film because I’ve seen something that would make a great painting.However, I soon moved on to composing my own scenes and the stories behind them. At the time I was watching a lot of Godfather type crime dramas and was inspired not only by the period they were based and the style that went with it, but also by a muffled theme of sadness and loneliness that seemed to lurk through the films. This led to a series of paintings of an anonymous lone male figure, usually in a suit, overcoat and a Trilby or Fedora hat.
I only really paint the things that I love and the things that inspire me. I love painting people, I love painting skies and I love to be by the sea, so most of my work contains at least one if not all of these things. I also like to try and tell a story or create a bit of mystery. A book, film or song can do this but they have more time, the challenge is to capture a similar feeling in the snap shot of a single image and this is what I strive for. I am never truly happy with a piece unless I feel it holds enough mystery to stop and intrigue the viewer, if only for a moment.More often than not I am also inspired by my own experiences and as with most artists, as my life changes, so does my work. Gradually evolving from my earlier compositions, themes of Love and Happiness started to emerge in my paintings. More noticeably though the lonely, anonymous male found a female and I began to use a lot more colour. Right now I paint the things that I would like to see on my wall, the things that make me happy.