The game birds have always fascinated me. My first published illustration, many years ago was of a French Partridge for the front cover of the magazine of what was then the Game Conservancy. A life member then and now.
Growing up by Poole Harbour as a boy, it was easy to disappear from school and spend hours on the shoreline exploring, observing and sketching water birds. On the heathlands behind the harbour I found nesting Grey Partridge, Woodcock, Lapwing and Dartford Warblers which were much rarer then!
I was determined to go to art college. After college I taught art students for some years. I finally decided to become a freelance artist, feeling the urge to return to depicting nature and birds. It was great to rediscover the power and beauty of the natural world. I also became passionately committed to conservation with art as a focus.
My first artistic love became drawing and watercolour. I later inherited an etching press and became well known for my dry-point etchings, printed and coloured by me on the press. More recently, I have been exploring oils. I enjoy working in clay as well and have produced a number of bronzes of hares, grouse and partridge.
Lecturing, writing and illustrating and in magazines followed, as did many books the latest being the 'Secret Lives ' series published by Helm. Illustration demanded I expressed myself in many styles and mediums, which I love doing. I am currently working on a major volume on the birds of Suffolk. My paintings and prints are widely collected and I have had numerous one man exhibitions in Britain and abroad.
Travelling widely I have been privileged to work with many international wildlife art and conservation projects. I am deeply committed to the ANF, the Artists for Nature Foundation with projects at home and abroad where art can publicise threatened habitats. I'm a keen supporter of the dry forest of Dakatcha in Kenya where many of our summer birds spend their winter holidays. My work has been included in books on the Baltic marshes, Extremadura, and other threatened habitats. I am a long standing member of the Society of Wildlife Artists.
Conservation plays an increasing part in its work, as it does with the GWCT.
I most enjoy the freedom of being outside in the wild on moorland, marsh, hedgerow, and estuary with paints and sketchbook recording the light, the colour and dramatic incident. I find as so many of us do, an unfailing excitement in bird and animal life and its landscape. When I hunker down to work later in my studio, it is these sketches that provide the backbone of my work.
Living in rural Suffolk has always provided me with a endless source of inspiration.