This website showcases my work both as a visual artist and as a furniture designer and maker.
From a very early age I’ve always wanted to create images and objects of some kind. I spent a great deal of time during my childhood simply drawing with pencils and then later adding watercolour paint to the drawings, architecture being my principle inspiration. I have always been inspired by the local Derbyshire landscape as with the watercolour of Sturston Lane below – painted when I was a teenager. I enjoyed making lots of models of Apollo space craft and formula one racing cars out of card as well as plastic Airfix modelling. I also created model buildings in the garden – cementing small bits of limestone together (which my father provided from his work place) and recreating my own version of timber framing. All in all I felt destined to want to make a living out of my art and craft abilities.
Since I became self-employed in 1985, I’ve had periods of time where I concentrated solely on making furniture or mainly producing paintings and drawings (the latter when I was teaching on several adult education classes per week). My present work timetable is now more flexible – I’ve recently spent a fare bit of time making furniture but also found some time to paint (see recent paintings page) – striking a balance between the two disciplines. I have also returned to teaching on a small scale, taking two watercolour classes at my home on Thursdays during school term time. Overall I feel very fortunate to be able to produce both types of work to a high standard.
Living in such a beautiful area of the UK has given me a lot of inspiration for my work. My home town of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, is a very attractive market town with a long history associated mainly with agriculture and is often referred to as the ‘gateway’ to the Peak District National Park. It has a very strong sporting tradition – having its own ancient ‘Shrovetide Football’ game held on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday each year (with ‘goals’ that are three miles apart!).
After completing a Foundation Course in Art & Design at the former Derby College of Higher Education, I spent three wonderfully creative years studying for a degree in graphic design at Norwich School of Art (1981-84). In 1985, with the support of my parents and the MSC Enterprise Allowance Scheme, I started out as a self-employed visual artist and furniture designer/maker. From 1986 to 2006 I worked as a part-time adult education tutor for Derbyshire County Council teaching painting and drawing skills.
I currently live on the edge of Ashbourne with my wife (a teacher and musician) and our young daughter. We both enjoy listening to music from all over the world, especially contemporary traditional Irish music (which we also like to play ourselves). We have an organic allotment garden and enjoy walking in the Peak District National Park – particularly the countryside along the course of the River Dove.
I hope you enjoy viewing my work on this site, any comments you would like to make about it would be very much appreciated.