After leaving St. Martins School of Art I worked as a costume designer for Opera, TV and theatre until returning to art school some twenty years later. This has probably influenced my enjoyment of textures, fabrics and lighting in my current work.
I have many influences, including 15th Century altar pieces to Velazquez, and from Monet to William Nicholson and Lucian Freud.
I always work from life and make sketches and discuss ideas with my portrait sitters. I also take photographs but only use them for reference or in emergencies! I paint in oils on canvas or board and do drawings in pencil or charcoal. My palette has a wide range of colours. I use Winsor & Newton Artists Oil Colours and for brushes, long handed sables, as large as practical for the job.
The first thing I do when I take a commission is to visit my subject and see their surroundings and where they will hang the painting. I often look for objects to accompany my subjects to tell the story of their lives. I often use richly patterned carpets and textiles behind my models.
An average oil portrait needs at least 10 sittings of two or three hours; a drawing two to three sittings.
1939 Born on 1 April in Zimbabwe
1956-57 Obtained Foundation Diploma from St Martins School of Art.
1978-81 Obtained a Painting Diploma at City & Guilds School of Art.
1981-84 Studied for a Postgraduate Diploma at the Royal Academy Schools.
1989 Elected a Member of the New English Art Club.
1992 Elected a Member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.
1995-2008 Served as Honorary Archivist to the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.
‘Rodney Burns Drawing Award’, City & Guilds, 1981
‘Henfield Figure Painting Award’, ‘S J Soloman Bronze Medal’, ‘Duff Greet Prize’, Royal Academy Schools, 1982-84
‘Ernest Kleinwort Memorial Prize’, New English Art Club, 1989
‘House and Garden Interior Prize’, Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, 1993
‘BP Portrait Award’, National Portrait Gallery
Hayward Gallery ‘British Drawing’
Riverside Studios Riverside Open, Riverside Studios Glyndebourne Opera House.
‘Selected Drawings’, Medici Gallery.
The Nude, USSR (touring exhibition with the Riverside Artists Group).
New English Art Club Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London.
Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London.
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London.
‘ING Discerning Eye’, Mall Galleries, London.
The Artist, 1994.
Artists & Illustrators, 2007.
Harpers and Queen.
Biography in Whos Who’, Debretts.