Over the years, I have been approached by hundreds of students studying my work for GCSE & A'Level coursework. I am passionate about encouraging the next generation of artists & I am always happy to give individual feedback by email, but have also created a list below of the Questions I am usually asked & answers for your information.
I also have a STUDENT PROJECT PACK available at the very bottom of this page for your sketchbook which includes cards, signed prints, information pack & various materials you can use in your sketchbook. It also contains a small tutorial on composing & creating a Nature painting. (The £20 charge covers costs & postage only)
You might want to watch some of the videos which tell the paintings story & show me painting them.
Frequently asked questions on syllabus
1-When & where were you born?
I was born in Wimbledon, London in 1965
2- How long have you been painting?
Ever since I could pick up something which made a mark on anything! When I was tiny my Mother would despair that every time she left me in the bath for a few minutes I would carve all the bars of soap into little imaginary creatures. The garden path was always covered in chalk drawings. My Mum bought me my first set of oil paints when I was about 4 or 5. There used to be a tv programme called 'Paint along with Nancy Kaminsky' ( obviously an age before youtube existed!) and I would sit there faithfully painting her rainy street scenes & landscapes in oil paints.
3- have you always worked as an artist?
No, although painting was what I always loved most, I went to a very academic school which discouraged the arts. Although it was Art I wanted to work in, i somehow ended up working in sales & recruitment & ended up building my own Search & selection business. It was a time when Margaret Thatcher was PM & the drive was to work hard & earn. After the Dotcom crash followed by the Millennium financial crash, I ended up losing everything, my business, my home & most of the hangers on who were only in it when I had it all. It was the best thing which ever happened to me as it was then that I really realised that it is only by working doing what you are most passionate about that you can find happiness.
If you love something & you have talent, pursue your passion. It's incredibly hard work & you have to keep at it through the ups & downs, but if you are prepared to put in the work, you can achieve anything you want to in life.
4-What is your place of origin?
I was born & have lived in the UK all of my life.
5- What Art movements do you follow?
I've never been one to follow one particular thing. I see Art as so varied & fascinating that I always loved to find out about everything which is going on. I suppose if you had to pin me down then I'd say I always loved the Impressionists for their use of colour, the Pre-Raphaelites for their story telling, Klimt from the Vienna Secession for his sheer lusciously gorgeous women, expressionism for its sense of wild movement, fauvism for its brave & wonderful use of colour & flow.. To be honest with you to me good Art is Art which makes me feel something or makes me think, whether that is something I love or something I hate. Bad Art, to me, is that which I can walk straight past with an 'eeeh'
There are many contemporary artist who I love, many of them little known.
6- Which artists have influenced your Art?
To be honest, I have always tried not to be influenced by others work. My real inspiration is Nature, with all of its colours, moods & variety. Nature really is the greatest artist & thats what influences all of my work.
7- What types of art mediums do you use in your work?
I guess Im best known for my work in pastels on sandpaper & oil on canvas, but I use all sorts of materials & have been working more with mixed media recently.
8-Do you have any specific techniques you use in your work
Yes, I have very much developed my own techniques with pastels, which give a deep, rich, velvet like finish. I have been told by many people , including pastelists that my pastels don't look like pastels. I paint with them rather than draw with them. My use of colour is also very much my own. There are no greys or black in any of my paintings, in fact I throw away any greys or blacks if I ever have a set of any material.
I hope this information helps you with your projects. I am always happy to answer any other questions by email or telephone. I also come along to a college for the day to work with students interested in my work & techniques