It’s a challenge to write an artist’s CV, in fact it’s a challenge to write any kind of CV as I have bounced around between so many jobs in my life in so many different sectors. I painted and drew obsessively as a child. It was my art teacher's hope that I would attend the Royal Academy of arts in London. As it happens I never applied, but I continued to paint until around the age of 24, at which point life struggles led to me taking a twenty year hiatus. It is only these last five years or so that this obsession has returned, but now more focused and more intense with a lifetime of experiences to express.
Certainly I haven’t had any formal artistic training or spent years at art school training to mimic the styles of the great masters, in fact that concept is the opposite of what inspires me. I did drop out of art school a few times in the 90’s, partly due to not wanting to take the arduous walk to the art college along the seafront in the winter rain, partly due to costs, and partly due to an inability to fit in. Even in a room full of aspiring artists I was still an outsider. Still a pariah.
I am autodidactic, not just in terms of painting but in terms of my approach to life, I am a person who wants to make my own mistakes, and carve my own way through life. To some degree my approach is informed by the 70’s punk do it yourself ethos, in as much as anyone can pick up an instrument and make a sound, anyone can pick up a brush and make a mark.
I eschew formal technique in the pursuit of a more direct expression, the use of bold black lines that was discouraged by my secondary school art teacher, splashes, smears, happy accidents, and a stressed scratchy look that is often a part of my finished work.
I paint some repeated themes, lots of faces, fish, and skeletons among other things. The faces are often deeply introspective, many of the portraits are technically self portraits as they are about capturing feelings and moments that I am either experiencing at the moment of painting or have experienced before. The vast majority of my paintings are spontaneous in execution, but often with long periods of silent thought beforehand, on other occasions I can begin painting without any clear concept of where I am intending to go with it and just let the brush take me. I want to capture the parts that humans keep hidden, the self doubt, the darkness and despair, the isolation, the degradation that is inflicted by society on the individual. The darker feelings that humans experience that in many ways are almost a ubiquitous part of the human experience, but at the same time loaded down with stigma. I want to show this in a way that is relatable to the viewer. I want the viewer to pause and feel something when they look at one of my pictures, I would rather that the viewer experienced one of my portraits as thought provoking, disturbing and dark then pretty or technical.