I am a pet portrait and wildlife artist living in beautiful North Wales. Based in Flintshire, I live in a small rural village, and I love to take photographs and make pastel and graphite paintings of local views, wildlife, flowers and animals.
I paint and draw mostly for pleasure and relaxation, but I am also happy to accept commissions for pet portraits, and I pride myself on my ability to faithfully reproduce the animal in all its fine detail.
My work can be seen at local exhibitions, and in 2016 I took part in Helfa Gelf for the first time. Helfa Gelf was a very enjoyable experience, as it gave me a chance to chat to lots of people about art related subjects – something I really enjoy doing.
I am never happier than when wandering around in a wild place with my camera. Whether it’s a wood, a forest, a moor or a wild seashore, I’m always just hoping to catch a glimpse (and a photo) of something that I can draw. I love wild scenery, birds, butterflies, bugs, flowers, trees, storms, sunsets, you name it, I capture it and then paint it in pastel, graphite or watercolour.
It’s a far cry from my youth in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, where I had an on-off relationship with art, having always been interested in drawing. It took a move to North Wales in 2006 to really get me started on the art path, and now my work is regularly on display in local exhibitions.
I recently captured a skein of oystercatchers flying across the mud flats on the Flintshire Coastal Path. Their white and black plumage and bright orange beaks made a stunning contrast as they flashed past the mud and brown grass – I made the image into a pastel painting for display on my recent Helfa Gelf stand, and was delighted (and also disappointed) when it sold on the last day.
This is typical of the reaction of an artist to making a sale – you produce an artwork with great care and attention to detail, choose a mount and a frame to set it off perfectly, and then proudly put it on public display. If it doesn’t sell, you start to wonder what you did wrong. If it does sell, you feel a moment of triumph, tempered by a pang of regret that you’re not going to see it again.
One of my favourite subjects is Talacre Lighthouse, and I have done a number of studies of this fascinating structure at sunset, in stormy weather and during a sandstorm. One of the Lighthouse studies has been sold to the owners of a local pub, and it now hangs in the public bar, which is lucky for me, as it means I have visiting rights to that one!
As well as wild scenes and animals, I am particularly fond of producing pet portraits, and have done a number of commissions of single and pairs of animals, as well as portraits of my own two dogs. I used to run a pet care business, and walked, fed, visited and ministered to any number of pet animals of all kinds, which kept me very busy indeed, but also provided inspiration for some of my works.
People keep the oddest pets, and as well as the usual dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea-pigs, I was exposed to frogs, snakes, degus, ferrets, ducks, geese, chickens and llamas – quite a variety as I’m sure you will agree.
I have now retired from the pet business, but I still love animals, and I am happy to take on commissions for true to life pet portraits, provided the owner can let me have a decent photograph. In some cases, I can take photos of the animal myself if the address is local.
I pride myself on producing a true representation of the animal’s face and character – after all, if the portrait doesn’t look like your pet, it’s not really a portrait! Please take a look at my galleries, and you will see some examples of my work. If you are interested in a pet portrait, please contact me and we can discuss your requirements, plus costs and timescales.
As well as graphite and pastel paintings, photography is also important to me. I not only take pictures to provide me with inspiration for my drawings, but I also take photographs that are meant simply to celebrate the beauties that surround us, often in miniature. Flowers and butterflies are subjects I particularly enjoy exploring, and some of these pay dividends when looked at in close-up. For example, the number of different and quite vivid colours you can see in a close-up of a white butterfly’s wing is incredible, has to be seen to be believed.
Thank you for taking the time to visit my website and to read my information – if you would like to commission a pet portrait, or simply to have a chat about painting or photography, please do get in touch with me via the contact details on this site.
An online gallery can only give a representation of my work in two dimensions – if you would like to see any of my pictures in real life, I am more than happy to oblige, simply contact me and we will see what we can arrange.
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