I have always loved portraiture. As long as I can remember I have been fascinated by faces and the stories they tell. Every line and crease in a face is a memory or experience that the person has lived, and a good portrait should project the personality as much as it does the appearance of the subject.
Like most people I love good photographic portraiture but in the age of the arm-stretched fish pout 'selfie' photographic portraiture has been cheapened. Narcissistic self-snappers the world over clog the internet with images that tell us nothing of who they are and only of how they want the world to see them.
For me portraits are in their purest form when composed with brush strokes, pencil scratches or pastel marks. Whether it be a 4 year old's crayon or a grand master's brush a portrait created by an artist on a blank surface will, to me, always be infinitely more powerful than one composed of pixels and data.
A good portrait should always tell you as much about the artist as it should the subject.
Rainbow Leader, Acrylic on Canvas, 50cmx50cm, (2013)
I painted this a few days after Nelson Mandela's death in December 2013 as a tribute to the great man. The colours represent the rainbow nation he led.
Blue Sky Thinking, Pencil on Paper, A1 (2014)
Available for Sale
Ruth, Acrylic on Canvas, 2015
Painted with Acrylics using black and white paint only. Available for sale.
Laura, Pen and Ink, A3, 2015
Portrait of colleague and copywriter Laura drawn with words.
Sass Pop Princess, Acrylic on Canvas, 2017
Read the story behind this painting in the blog. Probably the most important piece to me on the whole website.
I am a geek. I am proud of it. An attic full of Star Wars, He-Man, Thundercats, Bravestar, and M.A.S.K toys remind me that I grew up in the 1980s. Regular visits to the video store are one of the fondest memories of my youth and in the wet summers of the UK I would lose myself for hours in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy worlds of the VHS.
I was not alone and now all those little 1980s' kids have grown up and they're the people ruling the digital age we live in. The world is run, no longer by kings and queens, but by geeks.
Geek Art is 21st century folk-art at its best. A movement of art influenced by the films, comics, tv-shows and computer games that dominate popular culture. Today, there are hundreds of amazing artists out there mashing up and creating imagery from our iconic pop culture and it is to be embraced.
Here is where I try to mash up my inner geek with my aspiring artist and to the fellow geeks out there I have only one thing to say: "Hey you guys! May the force be with you."
Beaker: Graffiti Artist, A2, Oil on Canvas, (2015)
Oil on Canvas painting. Beaker has always been my favourite Muppet. He is the ultimate geek.
Green Mile Paper Collage Poster, The One Series, A1 (2015)
I created a series of A1 Paper Collages of reinterpretations of film posters. Each image includes: one quote, one object, and one actor's name from each film. This is the image I created for The Green Mile.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Paper Collage Poster, The One Series, Paper Collage, A1 (2015)
The second poster in this series is for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. It features the Hydrotherapy Unit which allows the Chief to escape in the film's heartbreaking climax.
Cool Hand Luke Paper Collage Poster, The One Series, Paper Collage, A1 (2015)
The third poster in the series, which are all linked by being prison/institution movies, is for Cool Hand Luke and features the bottle opener Luke (Paul Newman) wears around his neck.
Con Air Paper Collage, The One Series, Paper Collage, A1, (2015)
This poster is for the seminal classic (and I am being serious) Con Air. If you haven't seen this film then your life is not complete.
The Shawshank Redemption Paper Collage, The One Series, Paper Collage, A1 (2015)
The final paper collage poster in the series is for the greatest of all prison films The Shawshank Redemption. There are hundreds of minimalist reworkings for the Shawshank poster and most of them feature the hammer or the bible. I wanted to choose an item from the film which hasn't been used as much in other designs. I chose the long play record of The Marriage of Figaro Andy plays in the Warden's office.
Back to the Future, Paper Montage, October 21st 2015
Created to honour Back to the Future Day and made entirely from cut out paper. No paint or pen involved.
Admiral Akbar, Acrylic on Canvas, A2, 206
Commission painted for a friend. He wanted Admiral Akbar to hang above his bedroom door...go figure!
Being able to create art for someone is more of a gift for the artist than it is the patron who commissions the piece. I love the fact that you can help somebody realise their ambition of owning a piece of art they never thought they could either because the original is worth thousands or until they commissioned it - it simply didn't exist.
Creating Art is good on your own but it is even better when you can collaborate with others to realise something new. Helping bring someone's idea to life is a brilliant feeling and knowing you have got it exactly right when you see their gratitude is even better.
I want commissions. I want to do pieces of art for people. I want to paint that picture for you.
Rocky III Tribute, Oil on Canvas, A0, 2008
This painting is based upon the final image from the film Rocky III where Rocky and Apollo Creed morph into the Leroy Neiman painting. I was asked if I could do a version of the painting. This is smaller in size than the original. On the back of the image is a small card signed by Leroy Neiman given to me by the artist.
Tattoo Designs (2015)
Tattoo design was something I had never considered until I was recently asked to do exactly that for a friend. They told me the themes they wanted 'a bee' and 'a sugar skull'. These are the designs I came up with.
The Life Aquatic of Rocky III, Oil on Canvas 48"x 32"
The commission request was simple: "I want an image that is a montage of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Rocky III". It took me a while to figure out how I was going to do it but eventually I settled on the idea of merging the two images as if they were two film posters on top of one another and the most recent one had peeled back in certain areas to reveal the earlier poster. I had the inspiration when I saw exactly that effect happening on a street bilboard. For me it's a montage in its purest form - a new and unique image created from two (or more) images merging together.
Commission cost £400
Admiral Akbar, Acrylic on Canvas, A2, 2016
Pen and Ink
The purity of black ink on white paper is something that fascinates me. Using pen to draw is a skill I will never truly master but a past time I enjoy practicing.
Farm in the Snow, A1, (2014)
Available for Sale
Riverside Boys, A4, (2014)
Available for sale.
Laura, Pen and Ink, A3, 2015
Pen and Ink Sketch of colleague and copywriter Laura using words to draw.
Art has the ability to move people, the ability to inspire people, and the ability to change people's opinions. Artists have been making statements on the society in which they live for centuries whether it be through graffiti on the walls of our cities or masterpieces on the walls of our galleries. And I want to be a part of that long tradition.
Art does not always have to be aesthetically pleasing sometimes it must shock, it must disgust, it must outrage, and artists must always be willing, and be allowed, to do this whenever and wherever they live.
Hate Hearts, 50cm x 50cm, (2014)
S2P, Acrylic on Canvas, 2 Canvases A2, (2014)
S2P stands for 'Slave to President'. It is a dual painting painted on two equal canvases. The left canvas depicts a slave based on 19th century photos. The right canvas depicts President Obama. Both men are in front of writing taken from the Emancipation Proclamation, which reads across both canvases.
Dual paintings of images which contradict and complement one another are something I like to explore.
Available for sale
The Treachery of Islam, Acrylic on Canvas, A2, (2015)
Inspired by Rene Magritte's The Treachery of Images
"Everybody loves a montage!" And I am one of those people. Perhaps it's because film montages were so common in the films of the 1980s but for some reason they have crept in to my art. I love to create images from existing images whether it be old photos from a junk shop or my own images compiled in new ways. The skill of montage is to create art that is greater than the sum of its parts. The final image, whatever it is comprised of, must stand on its own merits and not just be impressive because of what it features.
We are all familiar with montages and we all experience them. Dreams (and nightmares) are montages that we all have . They are montages of images from our own experiences and memories that play out in our sub-conscience while we sleep and which we try to piece together in to narratives the following morning.
Dream Diary, Montage, (2014)
A Wedding, Photo Montage, 2014
I am fascinated by old photos. This image was created from a collection of old wedding photos I found in a junk shop. I wanted to bring back to life the lost memory of lost people.