1. When you were a child, what job did you picture yourself having as an adult?
I always wanted to be an artist of one kind or another: an architect (so I could wear steel-rimmed glasses and a polo neck), a cartoonist, a set designer etc.
2. When did you first realise you wanted to be an artist?
From as early as I can remember I had more of an affinity with drawing than anything else.
3. Were you good at art at school?
I always remember being good at art at school (I used to do friends’ art homework for 10p). But when I look at bits I’ve kept now it’s mainly awful.
4. Do you remember the first exhibition you went to?
Earliest memories of exhibitions are being taken to Cardiff’s National Museum with my Grandma to see their art collection. The first artist to make a big impression was Ralph Steadman. I saw his work in London when I was 13 and was blown away. His pen and ink drawings were incredible and I realised for the first time that messy could actually mean good!
5. Which artist do you most admire?
John Singer Sargent. His instinct for depicting light and colour is amazing. He often exaggerated colours or sometimes used them unmixed, but they still made a scene look believable.
6. Which talent of his do you covet?
I covet his ability to see the play of light on a subject and interpret it with such apparent ease.
7. If you could own any one painting in history, which would it be?
The Sistine Chapel ceiling please. If it counts as a painting. As it’s a fresco I suppose I’d have to own the whole building too!
8. What’s the best exhibition you’ve seen recently and why?
Best recent exhibition was either Bad Thoughts at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam last summer where I came across a great collection featuring Anselm Kiefer, Cindy Sherman, Mark Quinn and others. Before that the Gerhart Richter at Tate Modern was brilliant.
9. Is there one place that’s had a decisive influence on your work? If so, in what way?
I went to Vietnam when I was 21 and spent the final year of my degree making drawings and prints based on my trip (I got away with it on my graphic design course by adding text in Tippex now and again and calling it a book cover). Since then I’ve been inspired by places like Italy and Morocco. I have a short attention span and need to change my surroundings fairly often to stop my work getting drab or repetitive.
10. Where in the world would you like to spend six months making your art?
I want to go to Cuba or India. For the colours!
11. What subjects are you always drawn to in your work and why?
Recurring subjects include my kids, cars and architecture. From a purely aesthetic point of view I like to juxtapose organic forms with hard edges and these subjects lend themselves well. I screen printed my kids fishing onto a painting once and since then if I leave them out people ask, “Where are the kids?”. So I stick to what I’m known for at times. But I’m always looking to develop my style and subject matter.
12. Which colour do you find yourself using in your work more frequently than others? Is there a reason why?
Pink! It looks good with everything (much to the amusement of studio colleagues).
13. How often do you produce a new picture, on average?
New pictures come together in batches as I work on lots simultaneously to keep myself focused and relaxed. So this is hard to answer.
14. What’s your studio like?
My studio is organised mess. Because my process involves a lot of scraping and sanding there’s mess everywhere most of the time so I need to clear it up regularly.
15. How do you relax?
I relax by playing football, running, yoga, playing around with my kids – usual stuff!
16. What’s your most treasured possession?
My most treasured possession is possibly a letter written to me by Iggy Pop in 1994.
17. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Duran Duran and crisps.
18. If you could go back in time, when and where would you go?
I think it would have been really exciting to be in New York in the 1950s with the emergence of Abstract Expressionism. Do I get to be famous too?!
19. What plans do you have to develop your art?
I have been working on a larger scale recently. I want to become more abstract and experiment more by blurring boundaries between mediums.
20. How would you like to be remembered?
I don’t know if I care whether I’m remembered or not. I’m more interested in realising my potential in the time I have left to paint rather than what people will think in the future.