I came to painting in my early 20s; before then, i'd written poetry. I've included a small number of poems on this website, entitled "Stirrings".
At a certain point, i found that words were no longer sufficient, or perhaps i was no longer able to find the right words. At any rate, i started to paint entirely without any formal art education but a huge hunger for the history of art and the works which have flowed from human hands since before the start of recorded history; from the start of our awareness of ourselves.
By that point, i was embarked upon a career in the NHS, which i'm proud to have worked within for more than three decades before taking early retirement and the rekindling of a flame that'd burned slowly through the intervening years. There were occasional flares, but without the necessary time and freedom from workaday demands, they were allowed to dwindle again. It needs to be said that the experience of living during this time, and the crucible of the late 20th and early 21st centuries has been perhaps necessary in order to finally start to find my voice.
I took up from where i'd left off previously, with the feminine as a primary source of the initiation of my work; the feminine as a form of otherness from myself. As my work progresses, i'm finding that otherness can't be confined to one aspect, but rather that the reaching out beyond ourselves is something more general, a human need beyond even the reach of religion, and one which i feel will continue to be explored through painting. Living in the north west of England, the earth around me and in particular the timeless moorland landscape are becoming more prominent as themes, just as per the poem in Stirrings l.
This is why painting works for me, when words no longer work. It allows for an exploration of what it means to be human, one pair of cognitive eyes and hands within the great swathe of humanity. We are a troubled species, but we persist and the production of art is testament to something which seems to me to be entirely positive. In one real sense, i'm just getting started with painting, and feel i have a long way to go. Perhaps that's true of our species as a whole.