I have been fortunate to have lived in the Snowdonia National Park for many years working as a graphic designer whilst also establishing my style as a self taught artist. Although I enjoyed the use of computers in graphics and the possibilities because of them I also wanted to get back to hands on creativity and without a clients brief, so I could develop my own imagination without restrictions. In order to do this I decided to go part time from my main graphic designer job, which was a big step.
I experimented with a variety of materials during this time before I settled on acrylic and resins. Whilst creating fibre glass sculptural bases I knocked over some resin, it pooled like water on the base! By experimenting further and mixing transparent acrylic pigment into the resin I found I could tint it to look even more like water. And out of that ‘happy accident’ my new style was born!
However, whilst developing my style and career as an artist I had a major set back. As well as going part time to kick start my new career I had also begun to find it a great strain on the eyes using computers for long periods in my graphic design job. I was getting regular migraines and had difficulty focusing for long periods so splitting the two careers seemed like a good compromise work wise, financially and in helping out with my eye strain problems. However not long into this part time arrangement the retina in my right eye tore leaving me without any sight in that eye. Whilst I was under consultation for my right eye my left one started to tear as well. It was decided to do major surgery on both eyes at the same time to minimise the damage. I was very fortunate that due to excellent surgery my eye sight was restored in both eyes. However this kind of eye trauma is usually associated with a blow to the head during an accident, mine tore without any such trauma. This obviously meant I had some kind of inherent weakness in the eyes. Due to this I decided on a further lifestyle change to protect my eyes from any further unnecessary strain - and that was to leave my graphic design post altogether, another big step. I have now relocated to North Norfolk near its wild north coastline as a full time professional artist where I can now, to some degree, control my own hours to suit how my eyes feel on any given day.My technique has evolved too...
My original resin and acrylic technique required me to work on block for rigidity to eliminate the resin cracking, which was heavy. When I moved to Norfolk I could no longer afford to buy a property with an external work place, my studio now being within the main house. This meant that I could no longer use resins and experimented further with acrylic gels and pastes which gave me a very similar look. However I still continued to work on block [ out of habit I guess ] as I didn't need to because the acrylic gels and pastes were totally flexible. It took a commission from Australia to make me rethink my paintings as the block was too expensive to send due to its weight. I accepted the commission on the under standing I would be trying my acrylic gel and paste technique on canvas for the first time. I then sent a photo of the finished canvas painting by email stating if they didn't like it I would keep it - with no obligation. However the client liked it so much they commissioned a further 2 paintings - my new technique had now fully evolved!
Click about my work
for more details about how I now work with acrylic gels and pastes on deep box canvas.