1. When you were young, what job did you picture yourself having as an adult?
I always wanted to be an artist or a designer of some sort.
2. When did you first realise you wanted to be an artist?
Since I could hold a pencil, I think!
3. Were you good at art at school?
I felt like I was – it was my strongest subject by far. A day with art or design on the timetable was always a good day.
4. Do you remember the first exhibition you went to?
I remember going to see the Leonardo da Vinci cartoons at the Ashmolean in Oxford with my dad when I was quite small. They were so delicate that they had to be kept in the dark to preserve them. I thought that was pretty amazing. But my first really memorable gallery exhibition was Sensation at the Royal Academy in 1997. I had never seen art like it – it made a huge impression on me.
5. Which artists do you most admire?
I admire so many artists for different reasons, but if I had to pick just one, it would be Matisse. His work constantly inspires me in all sorts of ways.
6. Which talent of his do you covet?
His exquisite use of colour and the masterful way he was able to simplify his subject to perfection in his cut-out work. His clever stripping away of distracting visual details to reveal a sense of joy or serenity.
7. If you could own any one painting in history, which would it be?
There are so many! But, there is a tiny, unassuming painting in Bristol Museum & Art Gallery called Beach Scene, St Ives by Stanhope Alexander Forbes. I would love to own this painting.
8. What’s the best exhibition you’ve seen recently and why?
Modern Art and St Ives at the Tate St Ives. I just thought it was beautifully curated. The stand-out piece for me was Ben Nicholson’s 1924 (first abstract painting, Chelsea), another painting I’d like to own!
9. Is there one place that’s had a decisive influence on your work? If so, in what way?
Gloucestershire and Stroud on the edge of the Cotswolds, where I grew up. The landscape there is so interesting, with its many valleys and vast open spaces. I immediately feel a sense of calm when I’m there.
10. Where in the world would you like to spend six months making your art?
11. What subjects are you always drawn to in your work and why?
Landscapes, big skies, rolling hills. I’ve always been compelled to paint or draw landscapes, whether figurative or not. It’s hard to put my finger on why exactly, it feels quite primal. I do love how seasons and the weather affect the landscape: the same scene can look so different at any given time, it’s ever changing.
12. Which colour do you find yourself using in your work more frequently than others? Is there a reason why?
I’m always colour mixing but Prussian Blue, Hooker’s Green for intensity and depth and Cadium Red Light (has to be light!) are staples.
13. How often do you produce a new picture, on average?
It varies month to month and depends what size I’m working to. One or two a month perhaps.
14. What’s your studio like?
15. How do you relax?
Spending time with my family.
16. What’s your most treasured possession?
Photos of my children.
17. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Half watching questionable Netflix series whilst I work.
18. If you could go back in time, when and where would you go?
Maybe sometime in the early 1970s to see Free perform.
19. What plans do you have to develop your art?
Just to continue to be led by what inspires me.
20. How would you like to be remembered?