Pastoral Scenes


Still Life

Walls Doors


An Illuminating Experience.
From Coral to Canvas.

I came into diving by chance. "No chance ! You're not getting me in there !" That was my reaction to a suggestion that I try snorkelling. I was on holiday to sunbathe, lounge about on a boat and generally do nothing while my 'buddy to be' dived in the Red Sea.
I was absolutely gripped with fear at the thought of putting my face into the water and not being able to breathe. That is in spite of being a confident swimmer and really quite a good trick water­skier. However, initially much against my better judgement, I was eventually persuaded (Bullied !) into giving it a go.

After much drama and even more hyperventilation I saw the fish and corals. What a revelation. The colours, the shapes, the patterns, the textures - there is no way to adequately describe the thrill. It was as if everything I had learned about threads and textiles had been in preparation for what I could see under the water. After that, it was only a matter of time ( and more drama) before I was a qualified diver and exploring this wonder-world close up.

From my first glimpses, the coral reefs and their fish were a constant stream of irresistible ideas for pictures, new techniques, different dyes and this almost unconscious flood of stimulation still happens every dive.

In the relatively short period of time that I have been diving I have 'clocked up' over 150 dives in the Red Sea and visited various islands in the Maldives. On most diving days out I am accompanied by my underwater sketch pad on which I jot down the notes and rough drawings that will eventually become my next artwork

There hasn't been a single dive when I haven't seen a different creature, be it plant or animal, large or small, a different colour or shade, a new play of sunlight; but those of you who are lucky enough to be fellow divers will know what I'm talking about. If you're not a diver - perhaps you should be. If I can do it you can !

Virtually Everything In My Pictures Starts Off As Either Fabric, Thread, Wire, Card Or Beads

Virtually everything in my pictures starts off as either fabric, thread, wire, card or beads. Initially most fabrics, usually satins or silks, are white before being painted, dyed, stitched, frayed, twisted, stuffed or wired into place. The backgrounds are airbrushed with dyes or paints over hand cut stencils which will allow the whites of the fabric to show through.

When, some hours later, the stencils are removed I am either delighted with the result or I take another piece of satin and start all over again while drying my tears on the rejected piece.

Detail is created with hand or machine stitching to distort and manipulate the fabrics to give the desired effect. When I am using my machine for stitching, the area of fabric that I want to work on is tightened inside a wooden hoop. I then move the wooden hoop by hand and can then use the machine needle and thread much as you would a pencil.

Hours of experiments and different attempts often go wrong before I hit on a solution that I think is right for the particular problem I am wrestling with at any particular time.


As regards the other essential requirements, the following spring to mind; an art studio, colours, fabrics, TIME, PATIENCE, very understanding friends (and neighbours), large bottles of Pernod, large boxes of tissues