2004 Arts Council England, Yorkshire, Award for making new work and professional development
2001 Individual Artist Award from Yorkshire Arts
1999 Individual Artist Award from Yorkshire Arts
1998 Award from Manchester Academy of Fine Art
1996 Individual Artist Award from Yorkshire and Humberside Arts
Selected Solo exhibitions
‘Open Pathways’ Crossley Gallery, Dean Clough, Halifax
Wakefield Art Gallery
Huddersfield Art Gallery
Rotherham Art Gallery
Workhouse Fine Art, London
The Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth
Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax
20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe
Piece Hall Art Gallery, Halifax
Bexley Wing Atrium Gallery, Yorkshire Oncology Centre, Leeds
‘according to McGee’, York
Cupola Contemporary Art, Sheffield
Smith Art Gallery, Calderdale
Trinity Arts, Tunbridge Wells
The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool
Morven Gallery, Isle of Lewis
Beningborough Hall, York
AXIS Gallery, Leeds
My painting draws on elements of the landscape through colour and abstraction, influenced by the gritty, undulating environment of the Pennines, a dramatic mixture of wild moorland, pasture, huge skies and post-industrial ruins.
When I begin a new painting I don’t know what it will be. This ‘not knowing’ is very important to me because of the improvisatory, intuitive way in which I work, which depends on being sensitive to what is happening as a painting unfolds. The natural world is always there somewhere in the background as I explore the feeling of landscape through colour. So, my use of colour is much more about feelings than figuration.
Using oils and acrylic paint on canvas, sometimes with oil bars and pastels, I draw on abstract expressionist elements of gestural mark making, such as layering, brush marks, pouring paint, and the use of expressive colour to create vivid paintings that draw on physical and psychological experiences.
The challenge has been to retain a strong basic structure while painting freely and gesturally. The new work in this exhibition is mainly oil and/or acrylic on canvas, of various dimensions from 30cmx30cm to 150x210cm. I love working with high quality acrylic paint, such Golden, because it can be used as thinly as watercolour or as thick as the thickest impasto oil paint. It can’t be scraped or wiped off unless this is done immediately or something abrasive is used, as it dries quickly, but layers can be built up, revisions made. And brushes are easy to clean with water.
I enjoy the immediacy of making small drawings and monoprints on found paper because of the surprises that occur. There is great freedom in the making.
My influences are too numerous to mention, but ‘guiding lights’ in earlier days – and even now – are Matisse, Heron, late Turner, as well as some high-abstract British painters from the sixties and seventies who have steadfastly continued to work in this way.