About Me

My great uncle was the moderately well-known Victorian artist, John Pettie R.A., R.S.A. (think of the old Crawfords shortbread tins with a painting of Bonnie Prince Charlie on the lid - he did that!) But to the best of my knowledge, no one on my side of the family has shown much interest in the visual arts since then.
I've been interested in art in general and painting in particular since I was a small boy. At school I got a good pass in Higher Art and I continued to paint for some time thereafter. In the late 60s by which time I was living in Essex, I participated in a two man exhibition in Basildon Arts Centre where I sold 15 works - my first sales!
After that, work and family responsibilities took precedence and not until I took early retirement in the year 2000 did I pick up the paintbrushes again.
Since then I have completed a 3 year painting course with the Open College of Art under the expert tutelage of Jacqueline Watt who is a highly regarded member of the Edinburgh art establishment. I have also topped up my practical knowledge with regular visits to Edinburgh College of Art summer school.

What these two excellent organisations have instilled in me is the need to find my own painting identity and style, built on a sound grasp of composition and colour theory, and not plagiarise the work of others – a bad habit with amateur artists! I don’t think for a minute that my style is unique but it is one that has come to me as a result of continuous development and feels right.

Until recently I was based in Edinburgh and most of my work revolved around loose interpretations of the local Lothian's coast and countryside with the odd departure into pure abstraction. I am now based on the Kent coast so it's possible that seascapes will now play a more predominant role in my work.

I can’t appreciate painters who strive for photographic representation (why not use a camera!) I can certainly admire their craftsmanship but I can't help feeling that artists should be interpreters and create a mood, an emotion which is what I try to do. Only you can tell if I have succeeded.

Over the years I have had my work exhibited in such far flung locations as Essex, Surrey, Midlothian, Inverness and Rome and recently had the distinction of selling a painting in the RSW Annual Exhibition in the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh.