WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN ARTIST, AND HOW HAS YOUR JOURNEY EVOLVED OVER TIME?
I wasn’t exactly inspired to become an artist initially but I was presented with an art set as a birthday gift in 1994, which came as a big surprise to me! I just sort of drifted into it gradually, teaching myself in my spare time of which I didn’t have a great deal of being a busy mobile hairdresser at the time. Over time I became increasingly obsessed with painting but it remained essentially a hobby until I took medical retirement from Royal Mail in late 2013. Since then I have painted full time though I still class myself as a hobby artist even though I sell occasionally. i am now fully retired but will paint as long as I am able.
CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? HOW DO YOU APPROACH STARTING A NEW PIECE OR PROJECT?
The process starts with a sketching out on the canvas of the painting once I’ve decided which subject to paint and then gradually building up the detail over a few weeks. I paint in oils so I usually have several paintings on the go at the same time -sometimes up to 20- and concentrate on a different one each day.
WHAT THEMES OR SUBJECTS DO YOU FIND YOURSELF DRAWN TO IN YOUR ARTWORK, AND WHY?
I don’t just stick to one theme or subject in my paintings – I tackle anything – but I do have favourite themes such as local scenes past and present of places that mean something to me ie Blackpool, lytham St Annes, Ashton-under- Lyne and Manchester, along with ‘wet’ scenes, portraits, northern soul and animals.
COULD YOU SHARE A MEMORABLE OR SIGNIFICANT MOMENT IN YOUR ARTISTIC CAREER THAT HAS HAD A LASTING IMPACT ON YOU?
I wouldn’t say any particular moment had a lasting impact on me though I am proud to have won a couple of awards (nothing major), one being the Winter Gardens 140th anniversary art competition in 2018, being artist of the month in an issue of Lancashire Life mag in 2018 and being selected for a runner up prize in an open art competition in Altrincham by the judge Diana Ali, a well known TV art presenter in 2022.
ARE THERE ANY PARTICULAR ARTISTS, MOVEMENTS, OR STYLES THAT HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR WORK?
I was initially influenced by Monet and the impressionists. It was while browsing through a book of Monet paintings in a bookshop in Criccieth in Wales in 1994 that I mentioned to my then partner that I wished I could paint like that. Two months later on my birthday that’s when the art set, easel and how to paint book turned up. since then I have admired the works of several artists though being self taught I wanted to find my own style.