After spending a childhood on and off the stage, I decided to opt for a quieter life and studied film animation at Concordia University in Montreal, then Fine Arts at Ottawa University. Since then, I have produced a steady diet of commissions, both private and corporate in both Canada and the UK.
I have most recently exhibited in the Mirca Tour for Human Rights in Sweden and in Malta (opened by former Judge, Giovanni Bonello from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg), at the 8th Open Art Exhibition, Grovesnor Museum, Chester, the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art in Gordale, at the CUC in Liverpool, and at The Gallery, Liverpool. My work can be mainly seen at Lark Lane Atelier, in Liverpool. I founded and organised the inaugural Hoylake and Meols Open Studio Tour in 2009 and was happy to expand the tour throughout the Wirral in 2010 and 2011. This year we had around 3000 visitors.
I have recently started my own movement called Metaphorical Abstractionism, which I think is self explanatory. Other than that, my first love is the piano and I'm really a piano composer but as I am too shy to play my compositions in front of anyone else than my immediate family, I'll remain a closet composer...and, I also love lemon curd on my toast in the mornings.
Once again, I am uprooting. I have moved many times in my life and this time it is from the UK to New Zealand.
I do not always immediately fall in love with my new homes but do eventually through trying to find the beautiful in my surroundings. This was the case with moving to Hoylake on the Wirral peninsula in 2005. I found it initially too windy, the beach too barren, I was used to trees and found it hard to bond with the landscape. I spent months walking an hour everyday along the coast. I would scan the ground for shells and pebbles, I discovered mermaids purses and sea potatoes... then the birds. I started to know all their names and their migration patterns. I started to understand the tides. I fell in love with the clouds, the sea and the coastal landscape and this growing love was reflected in my art. Picasso said that painting is just another way of keeping a diary. This is absolutely true for me. My children, my life, my theories are on the canvas'. I cannot do 'formula'. My paintings change as I change, as I move, as I get inspired.
At this point in time, I am a colourist and an intuitive painter who has been exploring chaos, with an increased interest in creating the illusion of spacial depth on flat surfaces. I'm trying to create my 3-d depth effect series without the use of the 3-d glasses. This is attempted through throwing paint from the paintbrush onto the surface in order to create movement and manipulating hand movements in order to create perspective. Emotionally and intellectually, my latest pieces seem to be a response to the sea change happening around us and to my life in general...as it is absolute chaos and I am uprooting. In the previous series I have been using visual metaphors with a particular focus on the shell to express my perceptions of world events as well as more personal ones. Storm Brewing and Sea change may in fact be reflections of what I intuitively felt was going to happen in my life.
As I grew up on and around the stage (both my parents were actors and quickly wanted to have a go myself) many of my paintings have a theatrical element to them. Objects are under imaginary spotlights or subjects are in poses, like stills from a film. My technique has become looser, although this might be symptomatic of my switching to oils, where there are less time constraints. My thirst for depicting accurate light on and through objects has become stronger as has my love for chiaroscuro and tonal play.
My works fall into two main categories. One is colourful and bold; the other reflects nature in a more realistic way. It has recently dawned on me that as a child, I had two worlds. The inside world at home of colourful plastic toys, Fisher-Price mainly, and the outside world of nature, where I spent time playing in fields and trees. When one looks at my bold, colourful works (mainly abstracts), hints of this past "inside play" childhood comes through, in the way objects are shaped and in the way the light comes through them. The other style reflects a more natural colour palette and lighting.
I am truly in love with the process of painting.
I tend to alternate between the two painting styles, although occasionally I will combine them. The natural based paintings tend to be methodical and planned, I have a rough idea of how they will look like before I even apply paint to canvas. The other is instinctual, similar to the Inuk (Inuit) sculptor, who works with a piece of soapstone to discover the animal hiding within. Contrasting colours and organic shapes develop as the painting grows, with a goal of harmony, and a search for balance. It is an adventure in two dimensions, that when finished, offers the viewer a complexity of visuals, and hours of meditative pleasure.
Funky Egret 3
Oil. 300 x 400mm