I am a Cumbrian artist working from my studios at my home in Hilton near Appleby. Born and raised in Kendal, I qualified as a theatre set designer at Nottingham Trent University and spent a happy few years working in the colourful environment of the theatre. Painting large scenery pieces for the stage influenced my own artwork in these early years, leading me to create large colourful work in pastels and oils.
I then had a complete career change and joined the Royal Navy. During a rewarding 16 year career serving around the world, at sea and ashore, I always took my painting materials with me. Over the years my large oil and pastel works transformed into smaller watercolour paintings as these were much easier to take onboard ships.
After leaving the Royal Navy, I returned home to Cumbria to raise my young family and to focus on my first love: my art work. My garden studio has a fantastic uninterrupted view of Murton Pike and, when I’m not painting, I run watercolour workshops helping my attendees draw inspiration from this fabulous setting. Being right on the edge of the Scordale Valley provides me with plenty of inspiration and I spend a lot of time painting and sketching outside in the Fells, accompanied by my two dogs.
After many years in a very ordered military environment, I find the rhythms verses randomness and calm verses chaos I see around me in the countryside fascinating and truly special. I now have the freedom to work in watercolour, pastel and oil, and I take full advantage of this, focusing on the colours in the landscape, wildlife and flowers around me. I have recently begun painting on glass surfaces too as I find this allows me to capture different qualities of light.
The Scordale landscape is made up of many different types of rock and minerals, with so many varied colours which I seek to reflect in my work. I also like to capture the wonderfully varied wildlife living in this area and I watch the behaviour of the birds, animals and insects change with each season. I especially welcome the birds as they return from migration and help those that have stayed through the winter and try to capture their spirit within my work.