“Just follow your heart”
Intuitive Artist, based in Sheffield United Kingdom.
.Who helped you get into art?
Art was my favourite subject at school and when the time came for me to leave my art teacher suggested that I apply to Chesterfield College of Art which I did, I was accepted and was a student there for two years at which point my parents could no longer afford to finance my studies, so I left and got a job and life just took over, however my creative instincts were still at the heart of things.
I took on the renovation and interior décor of the south west wing of a Georgian mansion I was involved in doing this for several years until I had a breakdown and was sent for art therapy, I found this to be a revelation as my art was coming out thick and fast from within and not without as it used to be.
Now I was back on my true path again and went on to have one of my paintings exhibited at the Royal Academy 2000 Summer Show, another painting was acclaimed but didn’t get hung. In 2001 I went to India for a few months where I lived and worked with Indian artists, when I returned back home I was fortunate enough to have my first solo exhibition and then went on to study Fine Art at Hillsborough College and Sheffield University.
What would you like to paint in 2021
I can’t say that I’ve made any resolutions, I like to keep my work open and organic but I would like to complete a 7ft x 5ft painting and my own tailor made sarcophagus which I started in 2019 as one never knows when it might be needed, I have the idea that my funeral will be a peace of art in itself and would like it to be videoed and left as a parting gift.
I’m not a religious person but I do see myself as a spiritual one who is interested in the pursuit of going inward in order to seek the truth of ones being.
“My mother would take me to W.H.Smiths where there was a magic chest of drawers”
Where do you like to paint?
When painting on canvas I work in my studio its particularly nice in the summer when I can open the patio doors and let the outside in, I’m very fond of my garden and like to hear the birds chattering and singing while I’m working but at the moment I’m working on paper and have moved my materials into the dining room gravitating towards the warmth in these cold winter months.
When did you start painting?
I started painting seriously as a mature person in my forties after experiencing many ups and downs in life but my first memory of being interested in art goes back to childhood when on Saturdays my mother would take me to W.H.Smiths where there was a magic chest of drawers, in each drawer there were gradients of coloured pencil crayons, from the bold and deepest colours to the lightest and most subtle, what pleasure I got from feasting my eyes and soul over them, I was allowed two crayons per week and it was always a very difficult decision to make.
Why do you describe yourself as an ‘intuitive artist’?
Well what this means to me is that I don’t have any preconceived ideas about what the work is going to be, my practice is to freely make marks then sit with the canvas turning it round and around looking for a path through the jungle of marks then cutting through, building up and bringing order out of chaos.
I sometimes make assemblages which take form in a similar way, their own way.
Car boots and antique fairs are my favourite places to source materials, I may be drawn to something that speaks to me but have absolutely no idea why I’m buying it but at some point in my creativity it will be exactly what I need for a piece of work, its like my intuitive self is telling me this is for your future work.
I consider myself to be an environmentalist and am in awe of the wisdom of the very young Greta Thunburg, world leaders would do well to listen and take note of what she is saying.
One of my assemblages named Mother Earth was inspired by the need to say something about our environment and how we just keep taking from her without a thought of the damage we are doing to the planet and inevitably to ourselves, the objects which had already presented themselves to me were as follows. a skeleton, a baby doll, a very old heavy rope, a wooden chair from a chapel, a world globe, baby bottle teats and an old electric meter, these odd objects all came together to tell a story and I was surprised when a man came up to me at the exhibition to tell me that it had moved him to tears so the assemblage had indeed spoken.
Do you have any advice for other artists?
I don’t really feel that I’m in a position to advise other artists its an ongoing struggle for all of us but I would say try and be authentic, let your art be true to you, .We may be inspired by the wonderful work of other artists but we don’t need to replicate their work, we need to make our work our own.