How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it before?
My work is representational but not photographic. The work for which I am best known – historical marine art – is essentially narrative, portrayal of specific moments in time.
How did you start off in the arts? How/when did you realise that you were an artist?
I studied graphic design at college and then my route went via advertising (graphic designer then art director), to freelance (everything from book typography to product design), to general illustration, to paintings for exhibition. I knew I wanted to do this the moment they put me in front of an easel at the age of ten; but I was painting boats long before that.
Please describe a typical day of art making for you.
These days, office hours. First, an hour or more emailing and office work, sometimes much more if there’s a lot to do with the art groups I’m involved with (The Royal Society of Marine Artists and the Wapping Group) then researching or painting. If it’s summer I’ll be out painting outdoors once a week. Three or four times a year I’ll be busy with exhibitions.
What contemporary artists or developments in illustration do you find interesting right now?
I’m an oil painter but I think a lot of very interesting work is being done in watercolour right now so I’m going to see what kind of a pig’s ear I can make of that this year.
How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?
Depends on the size and the kind. Outdoor plein-air piece on location: two hours. Six-foot studio canvas: eight weeks.
What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you’re not creating?
Muck about with a boat which I hardly ever sail. Practise tai-chi.
Never eat spaghetti in a clean white shirt. (warning: this brilliant original piece of advice is all my own work. All copyright reserved)