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I get a kick from seeing the “happy accidents” that often occur in mark-making, so I enjoy my painting. When I haven’t painted for a while, I get withdrawal symptoms. Inspiration comes from what I see around me, but not everything grabs me. I look with selective eyes.

As a boy of 8 I was in quarantine with scarlet fever. My parents plied me with books for drawing and painting in. I enjoyed that part of my illness; it developed my sense of how things looked and how they could be represented on paper. Afterwards I began to ask myself how I would draw the things I saw around me. I looked at the sky a lot and wondered how to paint the clouds. The sky is still a constant source of wonder and inspiration.

In my teenage years I discovered W Heaton Cooper, the English Lake District watercolourist. His stylised treatment of mountains, rocks and water attracted me, especially when dramatic tonal contrasts were involved. My aunt gave my confidence a tremendous boost when she paid money for my attempt at a view of The Great Gable in Lakeland. I have loved drawing and painting rocks ever since. More recently I have also learned to enjoy the wonders of fynbos landscapes.

Career training in architecture improved my drawing skills and sense of composition, colour and tone enormously. Nowadays I am using painting knives for painting in acrylics, so it is not only the pictorial qualities of the subject that motivate me but also the excitement of using a tool that has many sides to its capabilities for mark-making.

In the past 18 months I have briefly visited the coastal regions of KwaZulu-Natal, Maputo (very briefly), the Olifants River valley near Citrusdal and parts of the False Bay coastline.  Most of my current sources of inspiration are still within the Western Cape, especially the boats and boat-people of Kalk Bay harbour, but also areas of natural fynbos.  I am very much in tune with the notion of “messing about in boats”.  Of course boats and water are powerful magnets to grown-ups and children alike.  That environment gives me a rich source of subject matter for my impressionist-style paintings, and for me the play of light on water is an essential part of it.


Social Synergy, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery

Group exhibition at The Cape Gallery


SASA Eleanor Palmer Trophy (1997 and 1999)
Best Acrylic at SASA Annual Exhibition (1998, 2000, 2002 and 2003)
Patchings 2001 Pro Arte award, June 2001

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Title: Coastal Bush Llandudno
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