|In 1985 I took the first tentative steps into a career as a professional artist, this started my apprenticeship in watercolour painting. This medium doesn't forgive mistakes easily, and often it is easier to start afresh rather than battle on and end up with the all too inevitable muddy mess that occurs when watercolours are overworked. Despite this challenge watercolours allows the artist to get natural luminosity into their paintings which is why they are so highly collectable.
After 30 years as a sporting landscape painter I increasingly enjoy the skill of catching the ever changing drama of light as it passes over landscape, with this being the backdrop to a memorable sporting moment. My pictures sometimes capture personal memories of time spent out with rod or gun, but often are inspired by capturing a fleeting moment of atmospheric light observed whilst walking my dogs, or driving through countryside. Of course it is often the case that on such occasions I do not have a camera to hand to capture the scene in full detail, but over the years I have learned to decipher a scene and memorise the basic ingredients of the quality and contrast of the light sufficient to rush home and attempt to recreate it on paper. It is a mood I am trying to capture rather than specific detail, which is just as well because watercolour often has its own mind once the pigment has been set free onto paper from the end of a loaded brush.
Although this wayward nature of watercolour might be regarded as an impediment, to the inexperienced artist it does allow the freedom and looseness to create the soft blending of pigments that suggest sky, water, mist and twilight elements of distant lanscape. These are the vital ingredients in my work and over the years I have learned to allow watercolour to work its own magic into my pictures.
Some 30 years after turning professional my watercolours are enjoyed by the owners of major collections of sporting art in the UK, Europe and the United States. In 2003 I was commissioned by the Royal Household to paint a picture of a scene chosen by HRH Prince William as their present to him on his 21st birthday.
I have written and illustrated chapters in the 'Artist's Impressions' series of books on grouse, woodcock and deer. My art has also been used to illustrate numerous other books, part works and shooting periodicals. My art has also been reproduced as engraving on guns made by Browning, A A brown, and Westley Richards.
In the past two years I have enjoyed working on bronze sculptures of my favourite subject Woodcock. So far sales of these have funded five geo-locator trackers and one satellite tags which I fit to woodcock as part of my ringing study in collaboration with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and their research into woodcock migration.