I studied graphic design and illustration at Middlesex Polytechnic in the late 80’s graduating with an honors degree in the somewhat specialized area of Scientific and Medical Illustration. However on leaving it soon became apparent that the publishing industry I was now trying to make my living in was undergoing a digital revolution. I found I had to swiftly adapt everything I had learnt to the new computer driven media.
At college computer graphics had consisted of plotting xy co-ordinates for a whole week in order to get a green outline of a table. We had laughed, joking that we could do the same in 2 minutes with a pencil! Now I had joined the ranks of the “new creatives” producing commercial illustration and design using pixels, vector graphics and digital photography rather than the traditional media of our predecessors.
After a 20 year career as an Illustrator, Designer and Art Director, I became increasingly frustrated by the creative limitations imposed by both the industry and clients. As an antidote I returned to my first love and began painting once more.
Searching for suitable subject matter, I returned to an interest that had been sparked years before by an old college project. As students we been given access to the Scanning Electron Microscope at the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew. The black and white images we produced of pollen grains, insects and plant matter opened my eyes to a new world of imagery. Later while working as an Illustrator for a medical publisher I was asked to create a number of coloured images from black and white electron micrographs for a series of book covers. The resulting images were fantastic, vivid, eye catching and almost abstract.
Now with the freedom to just create for my own pleasure what emerged were a number of ever larger textural abstract paintings exploring the ideas which began with those early electron micrographs. Armed with a scanner and digital SLR rather than the ultra expensive SEM, I very quickly found the inspiration I needed in the minutia all around me. There seemed to be no end of amazing form, colour and texture in every square inch of the natural and manmade world. Pebbles, leaves, barks, lichens, rusting and decaying surfaces.
I moved with my family to West Cornwall to fulfill a dream of living in this amazing landscape and painting full time. My current work continues to explore the abstract forms and textures I find in small details reflecting the place and nature of the landscape in which they were found.