Interview

What is your background and training in the visual arts?

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I took a degree in Fine Art (Painting) at Reading University in the 1950s and became and remained a full time art teacher. I continued to paint and exhibit regularly for many years until diverted by extra responsibilities at work and my other obsession, playing the jazz trumpet. When I had time to revisit the art world, I started making figure sculptures in card, paper and paste, and then also began to paint again.

What provides you with your main themes and subject matter?

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Perhaps because of my training which concentrated a great deal on life drawing, the human figure has been at the heart of my work, in both two and three dimensions, although my sketchbooks show a strong interest in the built environment in many parts of the world. The paintings in oils draw on the experience of travel, and recently, imaginative pieces inspired by my own sculptures.

How do you set about the making of a sculpture in your chosen materials?

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Waste card in the form of boxes, tubes and other salvaged pieces form the armature. I don't like to use chicken wire or other metals because it would limit my ability to make radical changes as the piece progresses. Newspaper and cellulose paste are used to bind everything together and gradually, together with thinner card, build the finer parts of the structure. The finish is normally still paper, either plain newsprint, coloured tissue or printed newspaper. Then PVA glue and finally a matt water based varnish.

Where do you do your work?

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I have a tiny studio at the top of the house. Usually everything is done there although working outside in hot weather on the sculptures means the drying process is much quicker. Paintings use sketches or my own photos.

 

What are you working on now, or hope to start in the future?

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I am concentrating on painting and am in the process of developing some pieces based on my life in music. The next sculptures will probably be a little smaller than in the past.