I have been fascinated by the appearance of birds for as long as I can remember – in fact one of my earliest memories is as a six year old drawing a picture of a black naped oriole which I saw in our garden in Singapore. My parents moved there for a couple of years in the early sixties and the intense saturated colours of tropical birds had a huge impression on me. Making drawings of birds became an itch I had to scratch.
After studying Biology and Ecology at University I spent the next twenty years or so as a freelance illustrator producing work for many UK publishers and charities including the National Trust The RSPB and The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.
Nowadays I spend most of my time painting birds in oils with a looser more abstracted style than my precise illustration work. Here I’m trying to make bold statements and capture the essence of the birds rather than get bogged down in too much fussy detail.
The ideas for my pictures relate to direct observation and often a spit-second glimpse of a bird will set in motion an idea for a composition. Sometimes an image will arrive, fully formed in my head and will demand urgently to be resolved but often ideas will rattle around for some time before I commit them to canvas.
I also throw and decorate stoneware bowls with ceramic stoneware bowls decorated with birds which in turn are beginning to influence my painting style.
I’m very fortunate to live in and work in the beautiful Suffolk countryside and much of the inspiration for my paintings comes from close to home. I work from a straw bale studio which I also use as a classroom for my teaching courses.
I am a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists and exhibit at their annual exhibition in The Mall Galleries, London.
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