I was a late arrival in the world of oil painting, so I don't have the CV of an established artist. I only took it up in 2011, so there aren't many painting-related things that I can write in this bio. Perhaps this makes me look like a novice, but the reason for this website is to promote my work, and to generate some interest. If I can manage that, then maybe one day I will have an impressive CV, or at least be able put something worthwhile into it.
So, what shall I tell you about myself? I suppose I could start with how I got here, and why I chose to paint?
Well, I was always embarrassed to admit that I made weddings videos for a living, but that's what I did. There's no point denying it (anymore) because it played a significant role in my life. I didn't grow up wanting to be a wedding videographer, but somehow that's what I ended up doing, and for about twenty years, a full diary of work kept me from doing anything else. It was only when technology made it more accessible for customers to do it themselves (which was around the time when HD came along), that I suddenly couldn't justify the expense of upgrading my equipment.
But I don't regret it, I keep telling myself that there are hundreds of satisfied customers out there.
When it ended, it dawned on me that I have nothing physical to show for all my hard work. My dad was a photographer, and he could always see one of his photos hanging on a wall, and it was a constant reminder for him of what he did. It's not the same with video, you need to seek out the DVD, put it in the player, and sit down and patiently watch it.
I wanted something more immediate - like my dad's photos on the wall. Also, after all those years editing people's wedding videos, I wanted something that was miles away from computers. I'd had enough of them! (Although, it does seem odd that I now find myself sitting at a computer building a website!)
Anyway, I stumbled upon a lovely looking bamboo table-top easel at my local TKMaxx, and it must have struck a chord. So, I bought it, and then set about buying paints and brushes, and I've been addicted to it ever since.
Before the weddings, I got an O-Level in Art at school, followed by a two year diploma in General Art & Design at Derby Lonsdale College (now known as Derby University); and after that, I went to Stafford for a one year HNC course in typography, which lead me to my first and only (never again) full time job.
It was at the Topic group of magazines in Nottingham, where I worked as a graphic designer / typographer on several monthly magazines: Nottingham Topic, Leicester Topic, and the Manchester Executive Insight. I liked the people, but I hated the job, and vowed to never work for any one again!
My parents were wedding photographers, and had been since I was born (I was born in 1968), but I didn't want to do that. My head was filled with a desire to get into the film industry. I was writing scripts in my spare time, and was inspired by the films of Peter Greenaway. But, unlike him, I had not been to film school, so I was lacking those qualifications to pursue it any further.
"If only I could get a camera," I thought, "then I could get into it that way." I got the camera, but then wondered what I could practice on. It wasn't difficult to put two-and-two together, and began shooting weddings.
But, I would do it differently! I would shoot them like a Greenaway film: static camera angles, and let the action happen. I must have hit on something, and quickly found myself very busy.
So-much-so that I had no time to do anything else, including the scriptwriting. Over time, I could see my hopes diminishing. A familiar story, and one that I didn't want to happen to me. But it was happening, and there was nothing I could do about it.
But, like I said earlier, it did come to an end, and now I consider myself to be fortunate to be given another chance.
So, here I am about three years in, an thoroughly love it. I am relishing the opportunity to develop this new skill, and look forward to building up a large portfolio.
At some stage I plan to venture into more realistic painting styles, but for the foreseeable future, I intend to continue with the abstract paintings. It is giving me a good knowledge of the paints and materials, which will be invaluable for when I am ready to move on to any figurative or landscape style paintings.