An Introduction to the artist

This is the place where my art takes up. Different approach. I have been called a cubist (in my youth) but concluded that the more recent paintings are expressionist semi abstract.

I started painting in oils when I was eight years old and my aunt gave me a ‘paint by numbers’ kit. Once I had finished filling in all the numbered spaces I turned the page over and painted the Taj Mahal from a postcard. In those days the paint supplied oil as it was before acrylic had been invented. I didn’t use oil again for many years as at school we were supplied with powder paint, then at art college poster colour, both of which I hated. You could get no good out of powder colour and poster paint was impossible to manipulate, also the colours were somewhat dowdy. So until I left art college at seventeen I had not had the satisfaction of painting with oil. 

I had shamed myself at college by messing about and not taking the classes seriously. The teachers were very slipshod and having told us what to do went off to the staff room, so we all played around like kids, having clay ball throwing matches and suchlike. Of course I was caught doing it every time and ended up being ousted in the final year. Never got any qualifications etc. afterwards I had mixed feelings about my rejection. On one hand I felt the subject I had been automatically signed up to was of no interest to me at all which was commercial art. I had no intention of being a display stand greater or a window dresser. When I first applied I had put my name down for dress design or pottery as I was not eligible for fine art having never been even offered O levels never mind A which was required for entrance into fine art.

 Not being able to do fine art was a disappointment and so wrong as it was the subject I was best at. How could an art teacher need maths, english or history A levels to teach art. This is why many art teachers are not remarkable painters, just as long as they got by ‘so to speak’.

I was out of full time education and went straight into evening classes where I was introduced to oil painting and fine art in general. There I was encouraged to take A level art and English which I did and passed with merit.

Then one day the class were given a project. It was to paint a portrait of a child, and the best would then be given commissions stemming from contacts thereafter. I did mine in impasto and oil paint and won and go ongoing commissions

Whilst this was going on I was being flooded with commissions from fellow workers at my office job, so many in fact allowing for a week to complete one or two I had work to cover over a year. I handed in my notice and stuck into the painting. Unfortunately my mother objected to my being at home and wanted me to go back to my office job. I had been hoping to rent a small shop, but could not contact the owners. The conflict at home escalated but one day I received a mysterious phone call from my long lost father who invited me to move in with him into his manor house hotel in Sussex, with promises of great opportunities to exhibit and have one man shows for his guests, weddings, business meetings etc. He mocked my current career pointing out thr benefits of accepting his offers.

Of course to accept his offer was to throw away all the progress and business I had already as it would mean moving a couple of hundred miles away, however in view of my home situation I reacted on impulse and accepted his offer, but little did I know what th consequences would be 

I moved into the manor with limited possessions, but all my art equipment

And on arriving a woman angrily walked out of the door ignoring me and left in a car with another woman. I did not know I had walked from the frying pan into the fire and that the woman was my stepmother whom I had never met but who far from welcomed my arrival.

Worse all my equipment was put into the lodge which was being converted for letting. It was then locked but I was invited to use it as a studio where there was no heating or lighting. None of the offers materialized and I was used as a slave to help them with work for the hotel.

I tried to get my brother who had transported me there to take me back, but he refused presuming my mother had been in the right.

After a lot of trouble I got my father to help me find a flat in Brighton which he did reluctantly, but it was too expensive, however he promised to help which he didn’t. I got work as a trainee restoration artist for one month. My colleagues continually complimented me on my work but when the month was up I was dismissed and never knew why. After that I was obliged to take needlework jobs because the employment office said Art was craft and craft is needlework. This was a drop in income from my former job in an office, and at a time when I had to pay high rent. My mother angrily forwarded my savings book telling me not to get in touch again. There were almost no galleries in Brighton though I had a painting in one but it didn’t sell.

I had lost my contacts all my commissions, had insufficient money to return to my home town, had a noticeable reduction in income, and rent to pay and knew no-one except an angry landlord. My art career which threatened to be so good was over and so it remained until my three children ( from my relationship on the way) were teenagers and we had moved to Cornwall. I thought it was a good plan to resurrect my art career by painting local scenes and selling them in the many galleries which I did successfully and easily until I came down with M.E. Very badly. I still painted but had to hold my right arm up with my left and it was very exhausting.

 For various reasons we had to sell up as many people at that time were having to do, and we chose to emigrate hoping to improve our situation, however, no matter how beautiful Italy is where we are has no galleries unlike Cornwall hence nowhere to sell. The on line galleries were no help so I was back at square one again.

 When I was in Cornwall I estimated my work to be fairly equal to Kurt Jacksons in level of skill and originality if very different. I had proved several times my work was desirable and wanted, in creating this site I am hoping that the window of opportunity opens again and I can again be recognized for what I do.