I have always loved art, photography and art galleries - long before I started studying art more formally. Life is full of opportunities for creative expression.
As part of my first degree, I began developing my own black and white photography, and came to realise that, even though a photo is often considered a factual document, it is only ever a single still image of a person, and therefore has its limitations. I also became interested in the passage of time which is reflected in art in many different ways: from the hastily captured moment of the Impressionists to the ephemeral crazy Happenings of the sixties; and even in the more abstract time/space dimensions implicit in Kinetic art, and the multiple perspectives of Cubism and Hockney’s photo-collages.
In my own practice, I used torn up photographs, newspapers and magazines and a variety of multi-media, to produce large sculptural works, which in themselves were impossible to store and keep, and so today only exist in their photographic records. I worked on a number of installations, but much of my work was self-portraiture.
Thirty years later, after travelling widely, living abroad, and working in many fields including teaching, academia, market research, the corporate world, and restaurants, I now live in London and Devon, and work as a full-time artist.
I am passionate about drawing and painting from life, never just from photographs. A photographic portrait can be a work of art in its own right, but an artist’s copy of it, however accurate, is a pale imitation. Why spend hours and days reproducing an image that looks exactly like a photograph? Instead, I work very quickly sketching large fleshy nudes in charcoal or soft pastel, or sometimes simple smaller ink line drawings, and focusing on the character and expression of the model as well as a physical likeness. More recently, I have been developing my nudes and portraits in oil, which are usually completed in one sitting. My work is often larger than life and, regardless of the size of the paper or canvas, rarely contained entirely within the frame - which I like to think emphasises the fact that the subject has a life of its own outside artistic representation.