Working from life, I create honest and thoughtful studies of the beauty and expression of the human figure. They are direct, often spontaneous observations of our body language and nature as much as of an individual’s form and features, quickly recorded in oil paint. When a person removes their clothes they reveal a different side of themselves; a vulnerability, truth and beauty that we all share. I find that very reassuring.
I have always enjoyed working spontaneously, feeling that my first reaction is probably the most truthful. I have learnt to apply paint quickly and work wet on wet, or “alla prima”, with my oils. I enjoy the movement of the paint in this way and how the corrections and mistakes tell a story of their own.
I graduated in 2000 with a BA Hons in Furniture and Product Design from Ravensbourne. Alongside a career in design, for fifteen years I have been lucky enough to study life drawing with RCA fellow Bobby Gill. I still juggle the two disciplines, although art is increasingly my main focus. Challenging my practise through regular observational study is an important part of my work and Bobby’s studio in Notting Hill will always be one of my favourite places to paint.
I always think of painting as an extension of drawing, rather than a separate process. I draw with paint and often think about painting when I’m drawing. As well as my own observational drawing, I teach life drawing, which in turn feeds back into my work, providing me with a wonderful opportunity to see life drawing from another perspective and constantly reminding me what an important part of my work it is. I often ask the model to sit for me after the class, creating many of my own paintings this way.
I'm overjoyed that these two pieces have been pre-selected for the prestigious Royal West of England Academy of Art 167th Annual Open Exhibition! It's a fantastic, dynamic exhibition of painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, installation and mixed media from emerging and established artists. Just dropping the pieces off ahead of the final selection was a great experience! A selection panel assesses every entry, this year's selectors include Tim Marlow, art historian and Artistic Director of the RA; Adelaide Damoah, painter and performance artist; John Talbot, art collector and Mark Hudson, award-winning art writer and critic for The Telegraph. I'm keeping my fingers crossed to make the final cut - but it's wonderful just to get this far!
2020 Art Show
Our annual exhibition showcasing new work from the past year, alongside drawings and prints, takes place 2-10 May 2020 at The Clubhouse, Boham’s Road, Blewbury OX11 9HF. Open daily 10am-6pm. Part of Oxfordshire Artweeks.
Classes & Workshops
I run a regular Life Class in Blewbury and occasional workshops, which are both open to all levels. You can find out more here. I have also taught life drawing to A Level Fine Art and Graphic Design students. If you would like to find out about life classes for your students please do email me. This Autumn I am delighted to be teaching life drawing at Sunningwell School of Art , and observational drawing for both adults and children at The Coaching Barn.
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