Over the last 40 years I have painted many pictures that have been influenced by many styles and artists I admire. However, there is a common thread running through all of my works. A feeling of searching for a way of painting that evokes a time and a place that reminds me of a youth well spent. As I get older, the texture of a memory influences what I paint more and more, resulting, after many years of trial and error, in two distinct veins of work.
My work as 'The Northerner' is the first of these styles and is primarily figurative, steeped in the north's recent industrial past. The subject matter has been revisited time and again but always through rose tinted spectacles or from a child's viewpoint. The style I have developed is that of the gritty reality of everyday working people's lives, whilst reflecting the warmth and spirt of friendship, family and community. The history and folklore from the cities and towns of the north is an incredibly rich source of inspiration for me, providing a seam of work that I will continue to explore.
The style that I feel is a true reflection of my own life and personality is the paintings I call 'Retro Surrealism', they are a combination of memories I have, and surrealist influences I see in the world we live in. I think that a person's true home is their childhood. These surreal ideas can be found in the landscape or in fantastical ideas coming from music, film and TV, to literature and modern art. I try to fuse these ideas into an image which provokes childhood and adolescent memories with a surreal landscape or imagined setting, where I can I try to make the work painterly, so as to ensue it is clear my work is all hand painted and does not use digital manipulation. My paintings are paintings all the way through.