I first started painting at the Camden Polytechnic, London, in 1969; then with Oliver Dowlan at Digswell House, Welwyn Garden City. From 1983 I studied with Swedish artist Christina Pattison at her Wheathampstead Studio, and from 2000 with Fine Arts graduate Anne Allanson at Courtyard Arts. Christina inspired my love of colour and Anne encouraged me to be more abstract. I love the work of Matisse and the Fauves and I have led several creative painting holidays, which include visits to the favourite haunt of the Fauves – Collioure, in the Languedoc region of France.
I paint mostly in acrylic because of the great opportunities it offers for expressing myself in brilliant colours. I find inspiration in visiting France and creating my own images of the landscape near the village of Paziols and Cathar castles in the Languedoc (where I have a house) and images of my favourite city, Paris, that was home to my other heroes, the Impressionists and the Surrealists.
Many of my paintings are created from sketches or photographs, while others are made from life during visits to France.
I have no formal training in art, but have always loved drawing and painting. For me, technique is subsidiary to the experience of the heart – my art is all about passion, light and feeling.
Although I have experimented with all sorts of media, including oils, acrylic, watercolour, coloured pencil, collage, etc., my favourite medium is pastel which I love for its vast colour range and interesting textures.
My preferred subjects are flowers and nature, using my own photographs as a reference. I also value time spent exploring colour, form and texture in my art journals.