Many of my ancestors were professional artists so it was perhaps no surprise that I developed a love of painting and drawing at an early age. I have had no formal art training but this never stopped me from painting anything and everything from abstracts to realistic landscapes and portraits. At eighteen I moved to an isolated cottage surrounded by woodland and meadows bordered by ancient hedgerows. Wild flowers, insects, birds and animals abounded and these inevitably found their way into my artwork. I took up camping as a means of spending all fairweather weekends by the sea, so then maritime plants, shells, fossils and pebbles became my subjects. Gradually I began submitting my paintings to major UK open exhibitions and found success with several, most notably the Royal Society of Marine Artists, and the Society of Botanical Artists which elected me to membership. A successful career in illustrating wild and cottage garden plants followed.
Natural history illustration is a most demanding art form. Pictures must show the identifying features of the subject; colours and dimensions need to be exact, while the usual rules of style and good composition apply. The unforgiving medium of water-colour does not allow for mistakes. Such "tight" work can be exhausting. Therefore it is liberating to swap my paper for canvas and lay down broad brush strokes in oils for a while. Here I can express my emotions, memories, dreams and visions in a style that could be described as naive, without being restrained by total accuracy of colour or form.
These images may seem markedly different from my nature illustrations. Yet there is a connection: a deep love and respect for the Earth, its plants and animals and our relationships with them and each other. In all my work I want to convey what is precious about our planet, and especially to show the little things that are easily overlooked or taken for granted. My aim is to help people realise what treasures we may lose if we do not love and protect the natural world and care for each other.
I hope you enjoy viewing my paintings, and maybe then see our world afresh.
The Annual Open Exhibition of The Society of Botanical Artists 2014
The Westminster Gallery
Westminster Central Hall
Free private view tickets available from email@example.com
Certificate of Botanical Merit awarded by The Society of Botanical Artists for accuracy of work