When did you first become interested in painting and art?
From an early age, I was always drawing in sketch books, school exercise books, scraps of paper, etc. At Bulmer Primary School, I won several prizes for my illustration work, one was the 1970 Sunday Mirror’s Children’s Art Exhibition, where my work was hung in the Royal Academy of Art in London.
My parents bought me a Rowney Watercolour Paint Box set, No. 64 at around that time, the price is still on the surviving cardboard box, showing 16’/ 6d. Although the paints have been changed to “artist’s” quality, I still use that box of paints to this very day. That one box of paints has earned me many thousands of pounds.
How do you produce your paintings?
I take photographs of the subjects I paint and always try to take them on a sunny day, the sunlight and shadows creating a more “3-D” look to the reference. I then use them to paint from. The photos are normally stuck together, maybe adding a different landscape background, maybe a dog, a gate, etc, to make a balanced composition. I then “scale-up” the image to paint from. The proportions of the image are normally a set size, so they can be used on greetings card, jigsaws, calendars, etc. Paintings can either be watercolour, acrylic or oil.
Why the attraction of old machinery?
I was brought up on a farm on the Essex /Suffolk border in the 1960’s. Compared to neighbouring farms, where most of the machinery was almost new, most of the machinery being used on our tenant farm was already from a bygone age. The fascinaton of how these old machines worked compared to the newer versions has never left me.
Your images embrace our heritage/yesteryears. Are you helping people remember those golden days?
Probably “Golden Days” with rose tinted glasses! Working on farms in the days I generally portray was much more physically demanding and, dare I say it, dangerous!
Who is the artist that inspires you?
Simple answer – Terence Cuneo, an English painter famous for his scenes of railways, horses and military action. He was also the official artist for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.