I always had a passion for sketching and painting from a very young age. At the age of 16 I joined the Royal Navy and ended up looking after Captains,Lord’s Ladies and spies in far off lands.
I played a brass instrument at this time and played in the ships volunteer band. I created designs for the band sweatshirts and ended up designing T shirts for other groups on board.
My talent for drawing was rewarded by being made the artist on the ships intelligence gathering team. This was to record detail of unknown potential enemy ships or airborne craft that may have been observing us.
I started to paint seriously around 1996 when I found it therapeutic after leaving a previous employment as a result of trauma caused whilst on duty.
I began selling work in the prestigious Bevere house Gallery in Worcester UK. Spurred on by the enthusiasm for my work I secured my first exhibition at the Number 8 Gallery, in my hometown of Pershore. I went on to open my own Studio/Gallery in Pershore High Street from 2005 to 2010. During this time I became acquainted with Michael Bibby and John A Poole who both became friends and mentors.
Michael Bibby was a tall friendly giant, an accomplished artist and former head of fine art at Cambridge University. Mike would visit me at my studio, and we would often meet for a pint. He really believed in me, purchasing my work and writing to top end London galleries promoting me.
John. A. Poole was a sculptor and artist of the highest calibre. He was a member of the Royal Academy and had been made a life member. He had been commissioned for many large public sculptures in, and around the midland area of the UK. Shortly before his death he was working on a commission for the 70s DJ, socialite personality, philanthropist and entrepreneur, Felix Dennis. The sculpture was of Don Juan and has been placed in Felix’s Garden of Heroes. John also purchased a painting from me. This I felt was a great endorsement of my work, especially as I have received no formal training.
Sadly, both Mike and John have now passed away but it was a real pleasure and inspiration knowing them. I learnt so much.
The Gallery in Pershore was a great success for me on a local basis, and I received some important commissions and built up an enthusiastic group of followers.
In 2011 I moved to Westport in County Mayo Ireland and had exhibitions in Belmullet and two at the Clew Bay hotel Gallery Westport.
I have been a professional Chimney Sweep for the last 25 years and recently started to use the soot collected from the turf fire chimneys of Mayo to make my own ink which I now incorporate into my work. I have found it to be a great medium which blends perfectly with acrylic ink and paints.
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