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Earliest priority …

Being outside. Back field. Making camps. Playing in brooks and hedges and building sites. Not that inside was bad … drawing and reading and listening – plenty to hear in Lancashire. Summer visits to his father’s childhood farm in the West of Ireland. More listening and looking. The scents of sensibility. Art College …
at Manchester and the Royal College of Art. Seven years a student. Until 1978. ‘And he thinks he still is!’ Which isn’t true.
A few of my older drawings and paintings are available to buy on the Art on Paper website.


A working life …

Illustrating picture books, book jackets, magazine portraits, illustrated maps, historical reconstructions, theatre sets. For books by Penelope Lively, Michael Morpurgo and Philip Pullman amongst many others. Hundreds of titles including Revolutionary Road and The Secret Garden. For places like the Ribblehead Viaduct, Stonehenge and the Penlee Lifeboat Station. Work exhibited … National Theatre; Royal Court Theatre; Royal Festival Hall; The V&A Museum of Childhood; Seven Stories, Newcastle; Astley Hall, Chorley; Pop-Up Dorset; The Study Gallery, Poole; K’s Cafe, Swanage; The Purbeck Valley Folk Festival and the Fine Foundation Gallery, Durlston Castle. Clients include … Most UK publishers, the National Parks, National Trust, Simon Callow, Howard Jacobson, the Styants family and the speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle MP.


Presently working on …

New solo exhibition at the Fine Foundation Gallery, Durlston. Wednesday 22nd July – Sunday 9th August. Open daily 10.30am – 5pm. A book to go with it, ‘Walking and Drawing’, available from this website. Illustrating a new collection of Elvis McGonagall’s rich and acrobatic poetry. Private commissions. Two new books. And keeping a sketchpad.

About Painting …

Ideas for paintings present themselves. Sometimes confined to his small black sketchbooks. Recording shape and structure. Colour in the studio. Subject matter usually chosen by happenstance. Here we all are. A moment of clarity. Look at that! Look again. Memory and desire.

What did you see? How does it feel?

Drawing underpins everything here. Analysis and emotion. Choose the medium. Is there a story?
Paint is a live thing – pools of watercolour blob and drip, soak in tinted washes. Heavy metal pigment falls from streams of colour. Between intent and accident.

Oil paint. Deep and true. The colour you see being the one that was mixed. A memory in every brushstroke, smooth or ridged. Smear and glaze and scratch. Exposing heart and mind. Slightly comic.