Primarily I have always been a Fine Artist who specialises in Painting and Drawing, although at times I have explored multi-media methods for installation work.
I studied under the late Robert Lenkiewicz 2000-02, was a finalist of ‘Not the Turner Prize’ 2004, and studied Lucian Freud’s techniques in Tate Britain’s basement studios during the period of his retrospective in 2002. I also spent time working closely with my friend, the late painter Anthony Amos. Within my studies in the University of Plymouth, I focused on developing my understanding of how visual language works in our culture whilst experimenting and developing the possibilities of mixed media work. I graduated with a First Class Degree and won the Ben Hartley Fine Art Award 2012 for Outstanding Work .
I am also an Art and Design Lecturer and Course Leader currently teaching and running Art and Design within South West Art Warehouse, whilst continuing my Fine Art practice. I mentor Fine Art degree students and PGCE Art trainee teachers from the University of Plymouth and I have also taught A-level Fine Art, A-level Art and Design, BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma and UAL level 3 - Art and Design at Plymouth College of Art.
I always back up my teaching with very strong historical and contextual studies and presentations. In an Ofsted inspection I received very strong positive feedback and was complemented on my teaching strategies. I was awarded a strong grade two with aspects being at a grade one.
I have been running a business as a freelance artist since 1999. This has consisted of a wide range of painting work, including portrait painting and mural painting commissions, which include Trompe L’oeil work, specialist paint effect work, sign writing, theatre set and interior design work. As mentioned, I also have my own practice as a multi-media artist specialising in oil painting. My work is in collections throughout the U.K. and also in Europe, USA, Australia and New Zealand.
Having my roots in Classicism, I have recently been exploring contemporary takes and methods working with old master paintings. I have at times attempted to address issues of faith, prayer, the eternal question of life in the context of death, and iconography within our lives today. I often work with a traditional approach to oil painting and drawing and have more recently been exploring this combined with experimental film and sound work; mixing film and two dimensional oil painting on canvas, exploring and progressing the possibilities of this fusion. Within a recent piece I have used a work by Caravaggio as my source material, ‘The calling of St. Matthew‘ in the Contarelli Chapel in San Luigi Dei Francesi, Rome.
Between 2000 and 2002 I worked closely with my mentor and teacher, the late artist Robert Lenkiewicz, strengthening a classical and traditional approach to painting and drawing, which continued to develop further with my placement within Tate Britain’s Studios learning Lucian Freud’s techniques. During these periods my work focused mainly on life scale figurative painting.
I feel it is important to maintain one’s own practice running parallel to teaching within the arts. My personal teaching philosophy is one of the Teacher/Artist, Artist/Teacher. I believe in the duality of these practices strengthening each other and that through this duality, passion and understanding is intensified. I believe the students appreciate this and benefit tremendously.
I am currently working on large scale oil painting commissions in a Renaissance style for Kitley House in Devon.