I have been drawing pictures throughout my life, yet I was raised in a work culture which prioritised earning a living, and placed the utmost importance on a persons job. As a result, I did not previously have enough time to nurture the development of my artwork.
However, this journey was not unproductive. My free time was divided among other significant pursuits, such as managing home responsibilities, engaging in rock-climbing, contributing to climbing-related work for The British Mountaineering Council, creating artwork, and playing music on the guitar.
ILLUSTRATING ROCK-CLIMBING GUIDE BOOKS
Over the span of 40 years, I dedicated my focus to illustrating rock-climbing guidebooks, resulting in the creation of over 400 pictures, maps and other works across approximately a dozen books.
Simultaneously, I engaged in other forms of artwork, contributing illustrations for a book of short stories. The majority of my work was in black and white, a choice made to optimise my limited time.
The act of illustrating, collaborating in writing, and verifying guidebooks enabled me to fulfil my desire to give back to the climbing community—a lifelong passion that has furnished me with numerous experiences, immense pleasure, and invaluable friendships.
I am of the belief that I would have continued illustrating books were it not for the advancements in digital camera technology. The final book I illustrated was the rock-climbing guidebook for Stanage, published in 2002, featuring over 100 of my drawings. Critics hailed them as perhaps the finest set of crag drawings ever produced for a British guidebook, a proud moment for me.
Prior to retiring, I worked part-time for a national charity, gradually reducing my hours until my role concluded due to redundancy amid the global economic collapse.
Upon finally concluding my professional work, I had more time to devote wholeheartedly to my artwork than was previously feasible. With the increased availability of time, I expanded into the realm of watercolour—a medium that isn't the simplest to work with, yet its challenges can be immensely rewarding.
MY APPROACH TO ART
I don't place significant emphasis on classical techniques, nor do I adhere to any conventional method when I create art; my sole motivation is the picture itself. My desire is to successfully capture an image that represents what I witnessed, a location I visited, or something that people might recognise as familiar. I also have an appreciation for well-known views with the hope of offering a fresh perspective on things that might have gone unnoticed or were previously overlooked.
Due to my background in climbing, I have developed a deep affection for mountains, crags, moors, and remote locations. Nevertheless, I'm equally intrigued by the more tranquil settings that many people find appealing.