A flippant remark of ‘I could do that…’ when browsing galleries for something bright to adorn the walls of a new build rented flat, has turned out to be a seminal moment. The ensuing experiments with a 4 pack of acrylics, and quickly rediscovered skill of making a subjectively attractive looking mess, was the start of a life changing journey. Painting at weekends as a break from software brand development, my first gallery solo show was in 2008, and I thought I was balancing things pretty well. However…. since focusing on painting full time early 2010, its all gone a little nuts….
I was alright at school if I remember correctly, being able to replicate Monet’s style reasonably, draw pretty realistically in pencil, and won a prize for something as a wee sprog. But – thankfully to be honest – I was persuaded to follow a more academic route. As it panned out, that meant that 15 years later when I started throwing paint around the initially spotless kitchen, that I could practice, learn and develop my style un-pressured – to gradually build up to the sole focus it’s become now, of being my passion, life and livelihood all in one.
I’m perhaps not a textbook artist – my entire aim is for visual impact, to capture characters in a unique way that blows your socks off and to elicit a response something along the lines of ‘woooohhhhaaa!’. The beauty of creating portraits is that each one could mean absolutely everything or nothing at all to you….. but everyone has an idol, mentor, someone they’re a massive fan of or indeed love… its an absolute honour to be asked to immortalise them all in paint.
I strive for the impression of explosive energy, movement, expression and the maximum in 3D effect when I paint – several techniques combining for the end result. Every one is large scale and around 2cm thick oils in places (yes, I get through a fair amount of the stuff), usually on board for a completely flat background so that the texture of the subject really comes out at you. Recently using home made neon paint too which really is a visual punch in the face, and with a team of incredible photographers so we can reproduce the effect for limited editions. I’m fascinated with how perceptions change with distance – the biggest unintentional compliment I’ve had was that my work looks like a photo from a distance, and porridge close up. Love that!
A lifelong sportsman… many of my ‘eureka moments’ come on hours stuck inside my own head out on the bike. Others from the oft completely random brainstorming over dinner or hiking with the Mrs (and PA) Ashley. There’s no such thing as a crazy idea any more….. which in itself is the most inspiring and empowering thing if you truly believe it.
I love the challenge of painting, especially tricky commissions when I’m asked to paint an image perhaps I wouldn’t have chosen myself. I’m naturally competitive, I guess from my background in sport – and for sure a big part of the enjoyment for me is constantly having to re-think, battling to bring a piece alive. I love the PR and networking side of things just as much – and why to date, I manage that side of things myself.
Published by Wishbone Art, in partnership with galleries covering the UK. Representation in USA, UAE, Mexico and Asia. About half of my work is motorsport related, including with British Embassies around the World promoting ‘Innovation is GREAT Britain’ during F1 weeks. The rest… features anything I love, icons of film, music and sport.
In the last few years I’ve created commissioned work for Instituto Ayrton Senna, Chelsea FC, The Rugby Players Association, Team Sky, Jenson Button, Max Chilton, Sir Alex Ferguson, Theo Paphitis, James Hunts family, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Red Bull, Pirelli, Monster Energy, CBS Television, Jake Humphrey, Wretch32 and JLS’s Aston, among many others…. and partnered with galleries, charitable organisations, leading rights holders and motorsport teams worldwide.
Featured at the GP Ball, Monaco GP, Singapore GP, Mexico GP, Playboy Club London, Selfridges Oxford St, Harrods, Goodwood Festival of Speed ITV4 show… and a gallery near you. Patron to Its In The Bag (Testicular Cancer Awareness) and regular fundraiser for Cancer Research UK, Rugby Players Association, Clic Sargent and GOSH
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