I have drawn all my life, sometimes frequently, sometimes sporadically, but it has always been there. I studied design (technical illustration) at Bournville College in Birmingham as part of my technical career. Now that I have more free time I can pursue a course that inspires me, and I find that I can paint as I please.
Living, as I do, in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent gives me easy access to many picturesque parts of the county and surrounding areas. I work either ‘en plein air’ sketching, or in the studio using information collected in my sketchbooks. When working outside I generally sketch in water based pens as these are easy to carry. I use a sketchbook prepared with predrawn rectangles and two thumbnails (for two tone notan images) on each page to allow me to formalise the composition to best effect. This arrangement allows me space to include colour notes, weather conditions and direction of light on the page.
When working outside it is the experience of being immersed in absorbing surroundings that is most important to me. To be in that moment and, having decided what it is that has inspired me, to get that impression down in its most immediate form and preserve it. Having sat for a while absorbing the scene I find that I can return to a sketch months or even years later and bring back that experience and pour it into a studio painting. Still, I have so much yet to learn.