Life is full of surprises; twists and turns that we encounter along the way. It’s full of opportunities to grow and learn and it’s fair to say I’ve seen my fair share of rollercoaster rides!
Today, as I look at the rich variety of canvases and paintings surrounding me, it's hard to
believe there was a hiatus of nearly 30 years 'in training'.
"To be yourself in a world that is trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s true to say that the university of life is our greatest teacher and for me, that means going with the flow and participating fully. We don’t always understand why our paths take us where they do, then one day we look back and see clearly what we could not have known.
I have a fascination for faces and achieving likeness is key. There’s no pre-drawing or measuring in my work, simply an observation: seeing what is really there, not what you ‘think’ is there and translating that through tone, colour, shape and movement. An appreciation of silence and space in a painting too. This brings life and depth to my work which captures the essence and character, not just the features, especially in my portraits. This can be clearly seen in the portrait of ‘Captain Sir Tom Moore’ which is now hanging on permanent public display in the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in the foyer, unveiled in July 2020.
My early life and years as a professional dancer, then a lecturer and trainer in health, fitness and yoga, followed by several businesses with people / personal development at the core, have all been a source of knowledge and expression.
Physicality, a love of movement and appreciation of aesthetics are intrinsic to me, my art and how I work, a natural affinity with the figurative.
Connection and colour feature too. Working mainly in acrylic where the vibrancy of colour and quick-drying qualities work well for me as I paint the people, places, experiences and concepts I (or those I’m commissioned by) have a connection to.
It may surprise you that Boxers feature. My passion here was fuelled by joining a local boxing club several years ago, which led me to paint the women there who still inspire me with their strength, agility, resilience and camaraderie. It’s also where I first met the world-class boxer Chantelle Cameron and started a series of paintings of her. Subsequently meeting and painting world champion boxers including Tony Bellew, Carl Froch, George Groves, Luke Campbell and have had two solo ‘Art of Boxing’ exhibitions.
Back to my roots, earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting and delivering ‘The Torso’ in person to Steven McRae, (Principal Male Dancer of the Royal Ballet) at the Royal Opera House.
As life’s rollercoaster is ever present, my personal mantra remains: “Do what makes your heart and soul sing”