My art practice is driven by experimentation, exploration and a persistent toying with control versus chaos in the search for visual balance and meaning. I am drawn to the alchemy of pigmented cold wax as a medium for its versatility and the little surprises it affords. Solvent reduction and sharp tools are used to melt and gouge through multiple layers of dried wax and paint in order to develop a conversation between surface and strata below, to discover the piece's innate beauty, its authenticity. I find not knowing how a piece will evolve incredibly exciting, liberating and even magical. The work is always changing and developing and I am currently exploring the use of acrylic and mark making media in initial layers, layering cold wax on top in window type formations creating a juxtaposition of different textures and fluid/non-fluid marks. Although my work is process-led, it is often influenced by Jungian archetypes, numinous experiences and biological processes. My background in academic psychology plays and important role in the development of the work.
After beginning my career as a Graphic Designer in the 80's and 90's and Studying Fine Art Painting at Winchester School of Art and Staffordshire University, I went on to subsidise my artistic practice as a Community Arts Worker, Artist in Residence and Arts Coordinator in and around the North West in schools, community and arts organisations for several years until an accident prevented me from continuing most of this work (mainly creating large scale murals) in 2004/5. An interest in art therapy lead me to study a psychology degree and a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical and Health Psychology which was completed in 2013. From the very beginning of my career all I really ever wanted to do was paint but with a belief that nobody ever makes a living out of their art my career has taken me on a long and winding path (all art related) preventing me from actually producing art for and of myself. Thankfully in 2016 this all changed when I acquired a studio space. I finally have the time and space to concentrate on what I truly love and what I feel I'm here to do!
I currently share a studio space with three other painters in a studio overlooking Etherow Country Park, Compstall, Cheshire. I have exhibited throughout the North West and my work 'The beginning and the end' 2019 (detail below) has been selected for the Royal West of England Academy of Art 167th Annual Exhibition (2019).
Detail of 'The beginning and the end' (2019)
Cold wax/oil and mixed media on panel