I have been a creative person all my life, my Dad showed me how to draw horses, ships and Mickey Mouse. He taught me about animals, I would go on mini-safaris in the woods behind our house, lost for hours, just searching for and watching nature. I cannot thank him enough for making me the person I am today.
At school I studied photography and fell in love with it, I could never take a picture and leave it alone, I would have to do some experimenting in the darkroom to make the image "better or different". In the sixth form I helped out in the photography department, including building a darkroom and cinema, I was in my element, I spent every free lesson I could there.
On leaving school, my photography became my hobby, travelling all over the country with my trusty Praktica. As my experience grew I traded the old camera in for a Minolta 9000. I went to every air show I could, taking photo after photo, learning to pan and focus etc. I would shoot off 9 or 10 rolls of film, this became very costly and eventually, I found I was taking my camera out far less and having a young family focuses your attention on other things. I am however the sort of person that needs constant stimulation, an explorer, often taking a road I’ve never been down before just to see where it comes out. I tend to take my hobbies to a level where I feel competent and then try something else, Aikido, Karate, American Football to name a few.
As with most parts of my life’s journey, my Dad’s guiding influence encouraged me to try carving walking sticks. I became hooked and we would travel the country together exhibiting our craft at various county shows and craft fairs and entering BSG competitions. We did it because it was enjoyable, meeting the public, making friends and demonstrating to them what we did in our spare time. It’s the man and his shed mentality, locked away from the stress of daily life and then popping out to show every man and his dog what you’ve been up to, sometimes over a pint. During this time Dad introduced me to a very special carver called Jed Edge and we became friends. Jed taught me a lot about carving and filled the air blue whilst telling his stories, I feel blessed to have known him.
I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2010. It has had a profound effect on me, coming to terms with the fact that you have a lifelong debilitating disease is something else. I found it very hard and at times, even now on a bad day, I struggle, physically and emotionally. My wife bought me a digital SLR camera, to give me something to do. This single act sparked my passion for my art again and has helped lift me every day, something to which I will be eternally grateful to her for. I would go on short walks around the marshes where we lived and snap away to my heart's content. Going digital has been a revelation, as my mobility has become worst, I have found that not being restricted in my creativity has helped me get that virtual shed back, somewhere to just escape and do stuff. I have, just about, come out of the dark days now, feeling stronger and able to cope with life. I have learned that I can do whatever I want to do, not reigned in by fear of failure, the one thing that held me back before. The majority of my work is digital, I draw photorealistic images, retouch old or damaged photographs, combine several photographs and textures to make what is known as Grunge art or Fine art photography, oh and I still take the odd picture now and then. Which very nicely leads me to this website that I have created, I hope you like it.