Born in Suffolk, England 1949
Art college for Foundation Studies in Ipswich prepared me for a Diploma of Art & Design in Ceramics at West of England College of Art, Bristol, graduating in 1971.
In 1993 I emigrated to The Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, USA where I continue to teach art in various institutions. This role as teacher has made me a better student, learning from so many different sources about the significant and importance of the Arts in this increasingly de-personalized world.
In October 2014, I returned to my East Anglian home in England, but specifically to Norwich to study for a Masters Degree in Fine Art at Norwich University of the Arts. My focus has been on painting, which so pointedly relates to my method of working with vitreous enamel, the other medium I use to create paintings with that medium.
I want my work to be honest. I want the viewer to sense my presence at the easel as I deliberate and question the validity of the conversation I have with the work as it evolves.
My quest is to create work that generates a life of it’s own; as I work I continue to revisit the surface and its materiality until I feel it breathing independently, telling me that I can let go. This process can take hours or months or never arrive at all. That is the driving force that keeps me painting and enameling. My purpose is simple, that of developing a masterful use of materials.
My work begins from many sources most of which are objective. As for mediums, I mostly use oil or acrylic paint or powdered glass that is vitreous enamel. This is a dry material that is typically sifted onto the copper plate in planes of transparent or opaque color. This method of working is very different from the deliberate mixing of paint with its adjustable fluidity and exact mix of hue. Enameling, like other materials that must be subjected to heat and are out of sight as they are transformed, brings a sense of chance and exploration to the work. In this way as I investigate and question, the outcome may be predicted but never absolute. I find that the differing methodologies within my practice with variable mediums inform me with cross-referencing as I shift from one to the other.
I have come to an understanding that a sense of uncertainty can provide a way to investigate and find form for those things for which we have no language.