Background

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”  Pablo Picasso

From a very early age I’ve always wanted to create images and make things. I spent a great deal of time during my early childhood drawing pictures of buildings – later using watercolour paint to tint the drawings (I had an ambition to study architecture whilst at school in the late 1970’s, but repeatedly failing to achieve an O’level pass in maths made it a no go – but I did eventually pass it thirty years later at night school).

I enjoyed making models of Apollo V space craft as well as formula one racing cars using card from cereal packets etc. and I also created model buildings in our back garden – cementing small bits of limestone together.

I have always been inspired by the local landscape near to my childhood home on the outskirts of Ashbourne (the watercolour of Sturston Lane below was painted when I was a teenager – the oak tree is still in good health!).

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 ‘Royal Shrovetide Football’ game held on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday each year with ‘goals’ that are comprised of millstones built into the north facing bank of the Henmore Brook at Sturston for the ‘Up’ards’ side and at Clifton for the ‘Down’ards’ side – three miles apart!

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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 by the likes of Sharon Shannon, Lunasa, Dervish, Danu, Altan, Solas, Christy Moore and many other wonderful folk musicians. We also like to play Irish and British tunes ourselves having jointly started an open trad. music session once a month in a lovely old Ashbourne pub. I still listen to music that dates back to my art school days such as the Cocteau Twins, New Order, Echo and the Bunnymen and the Clash amongst others and enjoy listening to contemporary bands like the Fleet Foxes and Arcade Fire to name but a few. I always have music on in the background when I’m working, I now find myself listening to more classical music on the radio and 1950’s modern jazz.

We have a nearby organic allotment garden and enjoy walks in the Peak District (with sketch pad or camera) with our young and lively Romanian rescue dog ‘Star Kiara’.

I hope you enjoy viewing my work on this site, any comments you would like to make about it would be very much appreciated.

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