I really don’t know how I differentiate from other artists – I just know that I paint in my own style which has developed over the years and people seem to like it!
Where are you located: Poole and Mijas, southern Spain
ArtMarketDirect gallery URL:
What’s your favourite colour and why?:
I think it must be blue!
Do you live with any family and or pets?:
I have a gorgeous dog called Teddy.
Best and worst food?:
Best: Oysters and seafood. Worst: Chinese.
Tell us a little about your full-time job and/or education?:
Since 2007 I have been a full time painter - this followed a career in architecture and interior design. I spend my time between Poole in Dorset, very close to the sea and Mijas Costa, again on the spanish coast and is the inspiration behind my seascapes in particular. I bought my first set of paints as a teenager and have been painting ever since really, still loving to see a painting created from a blank canvas!
If you weren't an artist what would you be doing instead?:
Now thats a tricky one!
What moment in your career are you most proud of?:
The highlight of my career was being invited by Roger Shashoua, a business man with a large private art collection, to participate in his collection which was being exhibited in a gallery in Cork Street London in 2011 and for which he selected and purchased several pieces of my work. His art foundation continues today and is exhibited globally. As this was fairly early on after turning professional it was an enormous boost to my career and confidence too!
Before you became professional in art, what is the best non art related job you ever had and why?:
Whilst I was studying architecture and interior design, I worked as a part time 'extra' on film sets which meant being called by central casting to be at a certain studio at an unearthly hour in the morning to work on a movie, TV soap or a commercial. This was often hilarious and certainly a lot of fun too!
Getting Down To Business
There’s a lot of artwork on the market these days, how do you differentiate yours from the rest?:
I really don't know how I differentiate from other artists - I just know that I paint in my own style which has developed over the years and people seem to like it. Although there are several artists whose work I really respect and admire and one can be influenced by them initially (like musicians are too), it is important to concentrate on creating your own style of painting that becomes uniquely yours.
What is the most challenging part about being an artist in todays market?:
For me it is finding the time to keep up to date on self promotion - as on social media, online galleries and introductions to bricks and mortar art galleries - all an essential part of being a professional.
For you what is the best part about creating art in the way you do?:
Seeing a painting evolve from the 'nugget' of an idea and then when its 'flowing' well. being proud of the end result - this doesn't always happen you see!
If you were able to go back to give yourself a nugget of advice before you even got started what would that be?:
Apart from visiting more art galleries and taking as many workshops in your chosen field, concentrate on honing your skills, on your style and paint every day! It should be taking up most of your life!
Visual art is often love/hate. How do you handle negative feedback?:
I am afraid that is something that you just have to take on the chin! With online galleries most artists have experienced a reject albeit only very, very occasionally. It has only happened to me once! I have never yet had a bad review by a media critique from a bricks and mortar art gallery, so I suppose I have been lucky - but if I did, I would just have to accept that you can't please everyone and get on with it!
What do you feel when something is sold? Why?:
Over the moon usually - with occasionally just a whisper of sadness to the 'letting go', particularly if I have worked painstakingly on a piece and I really liked it, that is the truth!
What are your tools and/or equipment and/or medium of choice? Why?:
Always oil paints now, good quality ones. Oils are very adaptable and 'forgiving'. I like a fine weave cotton or linen canvas and with certain detailed works (still life and some landscapes) then a on wood panel would be my surface of choice.
What is your creative process like?:
I try to paint every day. But there are good days and bad days - as in most things!
How do you come up with a profitable pricing structure for your pieces?:
I tend to price to the size for a particular genre, as in the seascapes and landscapes. It depends if the work is very detailed as in a still life, for example - then I would price by the hour. (The one below took about 50 hours).
What do you believe is a key element in creating a good composition?:
To do your very best with every piece, learn from past mistakes and keep practicing.
What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received which you would be willing to share?:
A very useful tip is if a canvas has somehow gotten 'dented' on the stretcher, whether the piece is started or finished, take a wet sponge and press onto the back of the dent on the reverse of the canvas, allow it to dry naturally (about 10 -15 minutes) and hey presto! the dent has gone!
How has your style changed over the years?:
The hardest part for me was finding my own 'style' - but once it has evolved stick to it! Most artists can paint anything really but it is important to be known by your own style - as in my seascapes for example. That doesn't mean only painting in one genre - l love to experiment and try new methods.
Tell us about any experimenting you are doing lately?:
I am trying to learn to paint figuratively. Human beings are difficult to paint and you need to understand movement, form and proportions otherwise they can look very wrong! This may take some time...
Do you have any upcoming events we should know about?:
My next event In May is a 2 week 'open house' exhibition at my own studio/gallery in Poole in Dorset called Dorset Art Weeks. This will be followed by an exhibition in Fuengirola, Malaga in Spain at The Art Gallery later on in September. A lovely little gallery in 2 converted fisherman's cottages in the heart of the old town. You can google it for more info or see my website in due course for dates - hope to see you there!