Firstly, congratulations on the birth of your new baby boy, are you looking forward to teaching the little guy his way around a pallet & easel?
– Thank you, yes of course! I can’t wait until he is old enough to play with paints and creative things. I enjoyed art since being very young, so I hope he will pursue what he enjoys most!
What can you tell us about the inspiration for your most recent portfolio additions, the “Dawn Chorus” collection?
-The inspiration for the Dawn Chorus collection comes from an idea I had years ago to work on a more specific species of wildlife, where I could really focus on the individual species from all around the world and how they differ. Birds were the perfect choice! There is an infinite amount of inspiration from anywhere in the world, from birds local to the antarctic, to the amazon rainforest. Their way of life, plumage, marks and wingspans all differ down to where they are from and how they are adapted to live. Looking at these differences within one type of animal is so interesting. I have always loved studying ornithology, especially within birds of paradise (thanks to David Attenborough.)
Do you do a lot of research into your subject matter before painting or do you go with where your mood takes you once in the studio?
– I do a lot of research into the species I am painting. It is important to understand the attitude and movements of the animal I am painting, but once it is on the easel and I understand the subject as much as I can I just let the painting flow by itself in the studio. As much as I need the subject to be tight and correct, the application benefits from being loose and natural. I find that getting a balance between strategy and logic, then with looseness and spontaneity is the key!
Your works have progressed over the years; how would you say your influences have changed since you first started painting?
– My influences haven’t changed at all, but my painting has naturally developed in a way I didn’t particularly plan for. Its great to see the timeline of my work and both the differences and similarities between my current and earlier work. Since my influences haven’t changed, I feel like my temperament at the easel and attitude has changed over the years which alters how the paintings turn out.
You’ve done a lot of charity based works in the past with donations to various animal and child based causes, is this important to you?
– It is a privilege to work with charities and that my paintings can potentially help towards a cause that could use some funding. I am honoured that these wonderful charities and causes allow me to try and help out if I can! It will always be incredibly important to me and something I hope to expand on.
You are well known for your specific style and use of colours, for what reasons do such vibrant colours play a big part in your works?
– I just love colour! I have no better answer than that! I enjoy mixing colours, working colours against one another. It feels like a science when I am working on a palette for a painting and I never know what the outcome could really be. I love working with colour so much.
This recent collection has been created in a circular fashion / medium, can you tell us the reasoning behind this concept?
– I wanted to work on circular boards for this collection because I have worked for so long on square or rectangle boards and it felt right to change it up and see in a new challenge in composition. It wasn’t easy to figure out how to place the subjects on the round boards, but I enjoyed the challenge. I think the circle shape does give a new dimention to my work and in turn, the Limited Edition prints. Circles are an unusual shape for art work, so it was a relief that they worked well with my style!
You have an incredible social media following from all over the globe, do you find the feedback gained from such a wide appeal effects your works or how you progress as an artist?
– It does affect my work in a way, I know I am on the right track with a painting if I am excited to share it with anyone following my work on social media. I know it isn’t working if I definitely do not want to share it! It is a great gauge of whether deep down I know it is at a good enough standard for me. However, it does not effect my work in the subjects or style I work in, those are always my choice and tend not to be influenced by what I feel others might like. If this was the case, it would be too detrimental to the artistic process and take control of what comes out of the studio.
You were one of Wishbone’s first signings as a professional artist, how have you found life with your publishing company? Are there any pro’s or con’s that you would offer advice to for any other aspiring artists looking to be represented?
– Working with a publisher was something I was wary about for a long time, but has worked out incredibly. As much as being a self representing artist was a great time, a lot of my time was spent working on the admin side of my work. Now I spend my working time painting. It helps that the people I work with are so incredibly supportive and respectful of my own personal, artistic ‘ways’ and it is such a privilege to work with great people! Any advice that I would have for anyone unsure about representation would be that its imperative that you feel comfortable with the people you are working with, as they are representing your creations. You have to trust that the take care of your work, which I feel Wishbone does for me.