A while ago you guys sent me some questions asking about how I go about creating one of my paintings, and how I get to the final picture. It’s lovely to hear that you are interested in me and my little studio, and I hope you enjoy reading my answers!
When you come to paint an animal which bit do you start with?
I always start by laying down splashes of colour to build up the basic shape of the animal; Concentrating on getting the 3D form correct, so the painting is based on an anatomically correct beastie.
Have you ever completely discarded a finished piece, and if so why?
You know what - Never! – I really try to make sure I’m happy with the paintings as I work, rather than waiting till they are finished and then having a panic!
Are you going to paint any parrots?
Yes! I’m planning to do a set of birds actually, ranging from garden birds to birds of prey and more exotic models, like macaws.
When did you realise that art was ‘your thing’?
At primary school when my classmates used to queue up to ask me to do their drawings for them! Haha. Art was always my favourite subject right the way through school, which is why I headed off to art college at the earliest opportunity!
What is your favourite piece of art that you have created?
It changes all the time! For ages Fox of delights was my favourite, but then I moved onto Fern, who lives in our bedroom now. She’s got such a soulful face, I look at her every night before I sleep. However, recently prudence has been catching my eye more and more.
Do you have a favourite type of animal to paint?
That's a tough question! I’m drawn to foxes a lot of the time, its something about their faces. More often than not it’s the expression on an animal’s face that grabs my attention and leads me to start a painting.
Do you have days when you just don’t want to paint?
Yes! Some days are definitely not painting days!! When one comes around I get outside and enjoy the countryside; either walking on the Cumbrian fells or heading out on my bike. That is the bonus of being self-employed! Sometimes I hit a wall mid painting and need to get my head down. The best thing I can do at this point is put some loud music on and dance around the studio. It’s not long before the paint is flowing again!
What music do you listen to whilst painting?
I have quite a mix playing in the studio, but my number 1 singer of all time is Ella Fitzgerald. I can listen to her all day, actually all week! Especially her live recordings, with loads of improvisation and skatting. I think the improvisation in jazz music works brilliantly when I’m painting as the unexpected tangents really compliment how I work.
What sort of art to you have on your walls?
I love really abstract paintings with bright colours, and also the textures and stylised illustrations that you get with lino or woodblock printing.
A fun fact about yourself?
I play trombone in a 19 piece jazz & swing orchestra called the Laal Big Band. It’s perfect training for blowing paint around!
Thank you again for all of your questions! I enjoyed answering them and sharing some of my painting journey. Maybe we can do this again some time?