I started my first career as an electrical engineer in the Electrify supply industry. Although I loved the job , pressures made me look to an alternative activity as a balance against day to day pressures. I eventually chose art as an occupation which was a totally at odds to my current work load.
I was not particularly good at it when I started but I had an enthusiastic teacher and I was hooked!
I joined the local South Wales Art Society and plugged away with acrylics which I was advised was best for rectifying my mistakes. Eventually, I entered a painting of some cottages in a local exhibition. I was amazed to find it was sold! This new occupation was more addictive than golf which I gave up because I was losing too many balls! I decided I would go on a weekend art course with a painter called Ron Ranson who had recently started running courses in watercolour. First mistake, taking acrylics on a watercolour course!
As time went on I realised the more mistakes I made the quicker I would learn.- a statement I recommend all budding artists to memorise.
I went on a variety of courses with artists I admired. Some artists want to paint every detail but this was not for me. I see it as “painting shapes of tone and colour with imagination and skill”. Leave the rest to the camera boys!
My wife, Joy, for my 60th birthday informed me I was going to America to learn from one of my heroes, William “Skip” Lawrence. What a revelation! With quotes like “paint the dog, don’t paint the fleas!” Another one was “If your painting is failing and you don’t know what to do, put little puppy in it. If it is still failing put a bandage on his paw! Some memorable quote is in the quotations section of this web site.
I had it in mind to enter some painting in the annual Royal institute of Painters in Watercolour in the Mall Galleries, London and invited my friend, Des Hawkins, to enter with me. We would not tell anyone in case we were disappointed. He had 5 out of 5 accepted and I had 5 out of 5 rejected. Not to be deterred we entered again the following year. This time I had 1 accepted and it sold!!!!
I never entered again on the principle of “been there, done that, got the tee shirt!
I was starting to get bookings from Art Societies around the country for demonstrations and using an agency called Art Profile to get more bookings. Winsor and Newton (paint manufacturers) were looking for painting demonstrators for their products. Art Profile recommended me.
Eventually Search Press who produced art books were looking for new authors and Winsor and Newton recommended me. I ended up writing 5 books for them.
The books were eventually translated into French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian and Chinese. A great help for the Income Tax bill.
The Society of All Artists (SAA) who made DVDs were looking for artists who had written books to make DVDs to sell as companions. I ended up making 24 DVDs.
Running parallel to these events, I was asked to do some art holidays abroad. My first was in the wine area of the Douro Valley, north Portugal followed by 4 holidays in the Western Algarve.
Later I tutored a number of art holidays in the Valencia area of Spain and I am now booked for the Wye Valley UK and West Algarve again
While all this was going on I was being booked by an agency for tutoring art on the cruise ships. My wife was included and we went a number of times to the Mediterranean, the Canary Isles, The Baltic, Norway and Spitsbergen developing many good friends on the way.
During this period, I was booked to tutor week’s course in Dallas Texas – I could write a book about that!
I had joined the South Wales Art Society early on and joined the committee holding every post right up to chairman. Last year I was honored with being a Vice president.