As I work on my pictures, I want to evoke a single charmed moment out of time, a magical vision that stills. The scene is our ancient and enchanted landscape, roamed by guardian spirit-like animals, shadowed by woods where the holly springs green amongst the bare oaks and beeches.
I am inspired by the quests of medieval romance poetry – the idea of venturing forth into the wild world of trees and thorns, searching for a glimpse of the white hart.
Etching is the ideal medium for my purpose, with its mysterious blacks and glowing, darkened whites. Working the metal plate to make it show delicate watercolour washes or deep dark gouged marks is endlessly fascinating.
I bite heavy time-worn textures into my plates using soft ground, either making shadowy layered transfer drawings with soft pencils, or printign into the ground with cut, carved and scored collagraph plates, to give the feeling of an old woodcut. Then I like to scrape and burnish the light back in. Painting cloudy washes of spit bite aquatint over the image brings it to life, gives it weather, frees the waters. I want the image to look like a weathered relic from the distant past, briefly come alive for us to see.
My small paintings in watercolour are a necessary rest from the intense and technical business of etching. I paint thorns and flowers, antlers sprouting leaves, foxes twined in honeysuckle, a unicorn in a holly enclosure…miniature illuminations.
1993 Art Foundation at Brighton College of Technology
1997 MA English Literature at Brasenose College, Oxford
1999 Professional Development Diploma in Illustration, West Herts College, first etchings made here
In 2000 I joined Oxford Printmakers' Co-operative, a wonderful open-access workshop and inspiring printmaking community, so I could carry on etching.
In 2008 I was elected to Associate membership of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE), and I became a Fellow in 2013.
In 2016 I joined Aberystwyth Printmakers.
I am now establishing a print workshop of my own in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, on the edge of a wild and scented moor, surrounded by lichened trees.
London Original Print Fair, Royal Academy of Art, London, May 2017
West Dean Art and Craft Fair, West Sussex, May 2017
Printfest, Ulverston, April 2017
Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park, London, with Hicks Gallery (paintings) and Edition3 (etchings), March 2017
Brighton Art Fair, September 2016
'The Masters - Etching' at Bankside Gallery, London, curated by Norman Ackroyd RA, 2016
'One of a Kind', an exhibition of monoprints at Emma Mason Gallery, Eastbourne, April 2016
Printfest, Ulverston, April 2015
Prints selected by Norman Ackroyd RA for 'RA in Yorkshire' at Zillah Bell Gallery, 2014
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, 2014
Forthcoming: 'In the forest' at Cambridge Contemporary Art, a two-person show with sculptor Paul Smith, October 2017
'Heartwood', new paintings and prints, Art Jericho, King Street, Oxford, May 2013
Canns Down Press Prize, 2014
Zenith Purchase Prize, 2012
Cover for 'A Rift in the Lute: Attuning Poetry and Philosophy' by Maximilian de Gaynesford, Oxford University Press, 2017
Illustration for 'Oak and Ash and Thorn' by Peter Fiennes, Oneworld Publications, 2017
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