My art history
This is me in 1980 or so – painting in St. Augustine’s Primary School in Tunbridge Wells.
I attended Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education (now the university of Gloucestershire) to do a degree in Visual and Live Arts with Combined Studies. This included painting, book illustration, life drawing, philosophy, time-based media (video art) and other fantastic things.
I loved it and graduated in 1998 with First Class Honours. Filmmaker David Puttnam gave me my degree.
This is me at art college in 1998
Since then I have done courses in illustration and oil painting at Camberwell College and Central Saint Martins, and have been working for various magazines as a designer and illustrator.
I now provide graphic design and web services as Gravity Design, but I would be very happy doing art full time.
If I won the lottery I would travel around painting, probably open a studio with assistants so I could make large wooden illuminated model buildings, open an art gallery, sponsor artists and hold art competitions.
My art today
I have been interested in surrealism since I was at college. The idea is that you can use your subconscious to generate more raw, powerful, potent and meaningful work than you would be able to with your conscious mind. When painting, I try to create the conditions for my intuition to do the work, rather than thinking things through too much. The raw materials for the art then, come from the subconscious (if I am successful) and also from the natural world. The result on the canvas is hopefully a beautiful thing – full of the natural beauty of the visible world, and the natural processes of the wild untamed, completely honest part of oneself.
The art that comes from this process could go in any direction at all, but canvasses have been building up in piles, and I would like for the activity to pay for itself, so I decided to structure the art process in a way that I thought would be as palatable as possible to art buyers.
This is why I did landscapes of Sussex in 2010. Also because I grew up in the area and really love the countryside and the outdoors. The landscapes of Sussex are really beautiful, and I was very excited while painting them. I took photos at the locations and went through the photos for hours until I spotted something exciting, then I made some notes about how I was going to mix my paints and started painting.
I like to get the painting done in one sitting, because by the time the second day has come, I’m not really in the same mental state any more, and I start being too conscious and deliberate about what I’m doing. I’m very happy to spend a day on a landscape. Every part of it is a joy. But by day two it’s very rare that boredom will not start to creep in, and I’ll find I am filling in details obsessively, rather than with the very great enthusiasm and excitement that I feel to begin with, and which I hope people looking at the work will share.
I am particularly a fan of the following artists: Ivon Hitchens, Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard, Dominic Hills – and lots of others of course.
Please feel free to make comments below – it actually helps me if you do by making Google think I’m more important – also please join the emailing list on the right if you want to be see new work as I do it.