I was born in March 1963 in the North of England, just a few days after the end of one of the worst British winters since records began, apparently I was hanging on a bit until things warmed up a little.
Childhood memories of me growing up always seem to come back to one of two things: I was either round the table working on a drawing, or out with my mates on some adventure; the local industrial environment was certainly our creative playground.
It was no real surprise that once my art education got underway at high school, my choice of subject matter for drawing was always going to be outdoors. In fact, to me, my local area was a real “Aladdin’s cave” of stuff to draw; gritty, no nonsense places like canal locks, railway yards and mine workings.
Atmosphere and mood
My first go at drawing with mood and atmosphere came at about the age of 15, when I decided to venture into the unknown. I opted to nip into a nearby cemetery at dusk and have a go at drawing a few of the broken gravestones. The drawings were not too bad, quite dark and gloomy which was the main objective, in fact the hardest thing was getting out of the cemetery once everything was locked up. Once I knew the best spot to climb over the wall, it proved to be one of my favourite drawing places; somewhere I returned to again and again.
Exhibition and sales
My first taste of exhibiting came a year later, making the finals of a national student art competition which resulted in a show in London. My first trip to the Capital city left a lasting impression. My first sale came shortly after this, and I think by then all the seeds had been sewn as to where my future lay.
After high school my art education route was fairly straightforward, going down the path of “A” levels for two years followed by a one year foundation course and then onto a degree course. I was very single minded wanting to work solely on my own ideas and as such a degree in Fine Art was my only consideration. I opted to go to Sheffield, to the Art College at Psalter Lane. It was a great place, mainly because it had fantastic large studios; the city at the time was littered with old and derelict steel mills and, geographically, it was handily placed for ventures into the Peak District.
Hard Work and endeavour
Graduating with a first in Painting and Printmaking was something that I worked hard for. I have always stuck to the approach that you should make the most of any opportunities you get and I
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