A flashback to my younger years
I have pretty much been drawing since I could hold a pencil. From around the age of two I was given my first painting easel, which over endless summers was propped up in the garden nestled in between the flowers and vegetable patch. Looking back this is quite possibly where my passion began for drawing naturally derived subjects. Growing up in Cambridgeshire influenced my artworks. A childhood in the countryside was a dream to be surrounded by nature. With a growing collection of butterflies and other curious insects, they were all fascinating subjects to draw. I have always been somewhat prolific in my sketches and paintings, even from an early age.
After high school, it was clear that I wanted to specialise in Art, so it was a natural choice to take up further education. Beginning studies, with a BTec National Diploma in Technical Illustration. I was swiftly introduced into a world of exploded illustrations, perspective grids and Rotring pens. The nibs on these pens incidentally, were as minute as tenth of a millimetre, so you can imagine the accuracy and perfection.
Technical Illustration was a far cry from my previous drawing concepts, and a challenging course. However it was a marvellous education and discipline into learning about structures and dimensions, which are intrinsic to Botanical Illustration. I was absolutely thrilled when I gained a Distinction for my efforts over the two year course.
Scientific and Natural History Illustration
Fascinated by details and realism in art and wanting to continue onto higher education I moved to Lancashire and took a place on the BA (Hons) in Scientific and Natural History Illustration degree. This reinforced my love of the natural world. Whilst there I attended some wonderful field trips deep in the English countryside, to produce intricate drawings and research for later Artworks. These have provided me with the skills I still use today for recording information when drawing away from the studio.
On a train to Cornwall
A short while into my studies in Lancashire I was offered a place on the BA (Hons) Illustration course at the Falmouth University. The pull of living by the sea, in warmer climes and gaining a degree from one of the most prestigious Illustration courses in the country was far too great. I swiftly packed up and moved south, propelled by an inspiring Professor with a mutual appreciation for hyper-real Illustration. Art in Cornwall became a wonderful source of continuous inspiration.
After relocating, I completely fell in love with the region and decided to stay, in many ways it captured my heart. Cornwall for me is and has always been full of mystery. I love the way the narrow roads with high wild hedgerows snake around the coastline. On an unfamiliar journey or coast-path you never quite know where they are going to lead. Very often it’s something pretty spectacular.The North coast has rugged cliffs against a dramatic open expanse of sea and sky, and here where I live on the South coast, soft hues of turquoise blues and greens of the sea, pine trees, secret coves. All staggeringly beautiful, and very similar to some coastal regions I’ve visited in the Mediterranean.
My passion for exotic plants have found their way into my garden at home, these and other varieties I find locally never cease to amaze me. Most of my illustrations capture the very raw, organic beauty of nature. With the ever changing light over the water, the cloud formations; The tranquility of still and calm, lucid waters to the sheer raging power the sea it’s just fascinating to see different plants exposed to so many variants of weather. It can literally be a walk home along the coast path that I discover a plant I’ve not noticed before in a new light. That then may become the source of another Botanical Illustration.
Since narrowing my specialism even further to Botanical Illustration, recent years have seen a dramatic increase in demand for my work. With some incredible clients, and intriguing projects, I now not only produce Artworks, but also hold lectures and Botanical Drawing classes for some rather prestigious organisations. The past few years events alone have taken me to Palaces, Stately homes and museums, which is amazing to have the opportunity to share what I do with such a marvellous array of people.
If you would like further information just click on my Botanical Art Workshops and Events tab and see whats new for the upcoming months.