“I first got in to painting in school. Art was my favourite subject since it seemed a lot more laid back than the rest!
Drawing animals became an interest in mine later on in life when my family and I spent the school holidays on a farm in Somerset. I would spend my time sketching the sheep in-between lambing and helping out on the farm. My family and I still visit the same farm today; I love re-visiting all the animals I’ve got to know over the years and getting back to the roots of my passion for drawing.
Somerset has been pivotal, really, in my work as both a vet— and now—as an artist. I came across the work of artist Cecil Aldin in Somerset, and to this day I find Aldin’s work playful and inspiring.
My interest in painting went up a notch during my studies at Liverpool Vet School, when my focus shifted from sheep to racehorses. The course was demanding, and I found painting to be a great counterbalance to hours of studying and practice work. It was around this time that I began to experiment with the paint splatters which have now become a signature of my artwork.
Paint splatters feel freeing to me, they add movement and energy to paintings, much like the animals themselves! Hubert de Watrigant is another artist whose work I admire, and much like my paint splatters, de Watrigant’s artwork can sometimes appear ‘messy’ from afar. Close up you can see how realistic and intricate de Watrigant’s paintings are. I love the beauty in the chaos; something I strive to achieve in my own paintings. The paint splatters on my own pieces are the riskiest part of the whole process—it can ruin the whole piece; or make it! Always a stressful but fun experience!
Still, it’s one of my favourite parts, and my wife Rosie is always encouraging me to add a ‘splash more!’ to my pieces. Especially in hot pink, her favourite colour.
Ultimately, painting allows me to switch off and I am happy to have found an outlet which allows me to marry two of my passions in life: animals and art.”
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