About The Artist
It has been rather an odd period of existence.
I started my early life on a council estate in the middle of Leeds. I gather it was earmarked to be Hitler’s headquarters in the north of England if he ever got that far! Judging by the locals’ disregard for the place when I lived there, I suspect it might have been an ecky thump version of Stalingrad or his final resting place if he had tried to clear out the inmates.
There then followed a period of working in an agency and looking after a studio. I didn’t attempt to interfere with the creative product apart from conceptualising the activity.
Having realised I had an interest in art I started to collect a few bits and pieces. It ended up with me starting the Art-Amis project. The idea was to promote a few artists and at the same time collect some pieces. This went on until 2008.
The third period started in 2006 when I embraced the idea that everybody has a story in them. The story I had was big and it was complex and it would lead to creating a very heavy book which you could kill a burglar with. The book was called BUGZ and it was going to be part of a series of 7 stories. Like Star Wars, this book started in the middle of the story. It was richly illustrated by one of the Art Amis artists. Malcolm Fryer did a splendid job. We got the book into distribution and it sold a couple of thousand. We even started to artwork the prequel but the financial crisis didn’t help the £20.00 selling price. As much as BUGZ looked like a Greek hero in his shiny armour it was not to succeed on the battlefield the world had become.
Survival was the name of the game for the next years, but I convinced myself I had storytelling in the blood. I was going to test myself.
- Patricia was developed for a children’s charity, it ended up as 12 small books illustrated.
- Anita & The Elephant was written, a trilogy of action adventures set in Mughal India.
- Namaste 10 is written…a situation short comedy.
You can see the art from these…the art was overseen by me…but not done by me.
The fourth period started in 2017 I think.
I was given some crayons. I think they were £8.99. I started to doodle. I went to three live art classes at the British Museum, Royal Academy and National Gallery.
I was given charcoal at these venerated institutions.
The output over say 8 hours was interesting…but my hope for a DNA link with Leonardo Da Vinci was sadly not conclusive (joking by the way)….the question is still outstanding.
I did start to take more sophisticated pastels (Unison and Schmincke) to various islands I was visiting.
I realised that if I took a little sketchbook it led to more interesting results than just clicking my I-phone hoping for the best. Better to go outside and get windblown and cold or burnt!
I started to pull together the other 3 periods of my existence and I started a new story.
This story was a multivariate and complex love story set in Elizabethan England but also existing in the here and now.
I started to invest in big canvases. Some were cotton. I discovered primer. I heard about linen canvas. I still don’t know what I am doing …but I have output.
THE ISLAND OF PARADISE lost came into existence.
It combined story and picture-making. Pictures could dictate the story. I invested in 350 pastels and had a massive pallet to go at. I still was experimenting. I still am.
I created the weird world my hero and heroine would visit.
THE COOK ISLAND PICTURE BOOK happened. It was a record of fifty pictures of the South Pacific before the lockdown. I did sketches in Greece, Lindisfarne, Iceland, Italy.
I realised that the lockdown meant your home as an island. I had always loved Ithaca…the legendary home of Odysseus.
Homers epic Odyssey and Iliad painted pictures in my subconscious…they always have.
We still can’t agree if Odysseus was myth or reality. Even if he existed, where his palace was.
The latest pictures you see here stylistically move into a different place from the attempted visual realism of saying sketches on islands to an abstraction of a brave new world (Tempest, Shakespeare).
The LIGHTHOUSE picture and the ‘THE MAELSTROM reflect a new development.
They in themselves show the art is developing its style…I think!