I grew up with oil paintings propped up to dry in various places around the house and kind of took it all for granted. My father worked in a spare bedroom and for a while as a young child I thought all Dad's did the same. I never really excelled in art at school and having left at the age of 16 I started one of three positions in the retail business. By the age of 21, my father encouraged me to have a go at some oil painting. He gave me some pointers at technique, which colours to use, and the importance of tone values. The first attempts were pleasing enough and sold for £30 each in a local pub. Over the next few months I worked as hard as I could to keep up with the demand. This meant that I was retail manager by day and landscape painter by night/weekend. It eventually took its toll on me and I realised that something had to give. It took weeks for me to actually do it, as we had a young child and were not in the best of financial health, but on 4th July 1997 I handed in my notice at the office and became a professional artist. Most of my paintings are now on canvas, apart from some miniatures, which I do on prepared panels. From the moment the canvas goes on the easel I know how I want the finished article to look. I tend to produce work in batches, between fifteen and twenty at a time and I try to show as much variety in the subject matter as possible while still producing the style of work that I enjoy and have become known for.