I am a Derbyshire based artist working in acrylics.
My first love is steam railways, and in 1989 I attended a night class (never having lifted a paintbrush since my first year at grammar school) in painting and drawing. After four lessons, I decided to ‘have a go ’ at painting on my own (the next lesson being decoupage swung that decision!), to try and recapture the railway scenes I remembered as a child.
I worked as a land surveyor with British Coal up until the privatisation of the industry, and although I was also a photographer with British Coal (my photograph of Loch Leven was the people's choice in a Nottingham newspaper art competition), on redundancy I decided to try and make a living as an artist.
My first commercial venture was a range of limited edition prints, initially based on the long closed Great Central Railway between Nottingham and London Marylebone, followed by a series on the railways of the West Highlands, the dramatic beauty of the area complementing the power of the steam locomotive perfectly.
My second love is animals (especially cats) and wildlife, and I have produced a range of wildlife prints, again with a West Highlands setting, plus the 'Railway Cat' cards and prints. In all of my pictures, I aim to make the subject, whether animal or train, part of a scene, as opposed to a simple portrait. The use of acrylic paint, with its quick drying time and permanence, enables subjects to be easily imposed and blended in to a scene. The digital camera, and before that the ability to capture still pictures from video, has enabled me to accurately set a background for my paintings and then, using Photoshop, roughly proof a scene before painting commences. Sounds easy, but the finished painting often bares little resemblance to the proof when an animal is involved!