Trying to draw inspired by their strange anatomy.
In my fifth form year we had a trip to Auckland to see a Vincent Van Gogh exhibition.
At high school I was unable to take Art as a subject ‘til my sixth form year when I ditched all my other subjects except Tech Drawing and English.
My first job was as a draughtsman at Waikato University. We produced maps, graphs and graphics.
At a certain point I discovered Degas and I realised something – I wanted to paint.
It was always oil or pastel and always people.
Copying the masters and trying to find a place or voice or something.
It’s not verbal and very private
“You’re born alone, you die alone and you paint alone”.
People bought them.
With the oils I found a way of painting with a palette knife that was quite unique.
I painted a huge canvas, the size of a car and had it hanging in the warehouse I lived in at the time. A friend brought a lovely English woman called Arabella around to meet me. She stood in front of that painting and wept – I’ll never forget that. That’s why I paint.
In the nineties I started using egg tempera and did a series of beachscapes then stopped painting for ten years to concentrate on carving the Strange Angels.
I started again from scratch a couple of years ago.
I find it very difficult to talk about the work without sounding like a prat.
Hopefully it speaks for itself.