My Life in a Nutshell

As a child my bedroom walls were covered with my drawings; portraits of my heroes and surrealist landscapes mostly inspired by Salvador Dali. I would delight at dredging my imagination and displaying it all around me.

My Art teachers were very disappointed when at the age of sixteen I decided to quit Art lessons to pursue the study of Pure Mathematics, another deep passion of mine. In hindsight this was a mistake I think, but unfortunately I had read or heard of a statistic implying that the employment prospects of an Art graduate when compered with a Maths graduate where very much at the opposite end of a scale. I gave up Art because I thought it would never pay.

I did my Maths degree at Sheffield University and graduated in 1993 with what we fondly described as a ‘drinker’s degree’ or a ‘Desmond’ [two-two] and then became a professional Juggler.

You see, modesty aside, I am both blessed and cursed with being good at almost anything to which I lay my hand. Blessed: who doesn’t want to be good at doing things. Cursed: any skill I pursue in depth takes up valuable time I could spend pursuing something else, a constant battle between the prospect of monumental achievement and a desperate fear of missing out.

In between drawing melting bottles in stark landscapes and solving differential equations I saw some great Jugglers on Blue Peter and just had to learn that too. At the time (this was long before the internet) there were not any other jugglers about so I just did it on my own. At University there was a Juggling Society and it turned out that Jugglers are really fun people to hang out with. How could I resist!

So, I learned to play violin whilst riding on an 8 foot tall unicycle (still one of my proudest achievements) and went off travelling the world with my shows. For years I was constantly meeting great people, living on a shoestring and loving it.

At the age of thirty or so, I turned a big corner when I fell in love with a wonderful Scottish fiddle player and settled down somewhat. The road of a travelling entertainer no longer had any appeal to me and I had grown weary of the life style. When kids arrived, I took a job pushing lawnmowers. The pay was minuscule but regular which for me was pure luxury! Besides I discovered that I loved gardening. It was like sculpting with life. Plants are a wonderful medium to play around with and I immersed myself fully in the discipline, trained in Landscape architecture and started up a successful Garden Design and Landscaping business. I may still be doing it to this day but the business came to a grinding halt when 3 years ago I was diagnosed with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. All those years of operating heavy vibrating tools had taken their toll on my body. I slowly wound up the business and have now returned to Art with a vengeance.

So, if you like what you have seen in my portfolio and are interested in commissioning a portrait, please trawl through the rest of my website and have a close look at all the images and videos. Zoomed in you have a better idea of what the artwork will look like in your hands. Digital displays do not do the work total justice at first glance.

Do get in touch and I am delighted to take time to discuss your requirements. This is what I do now.