Each painting is a story, a small play brought to life in moments of theatre through paint. Capturing a sense of the moment, setting and time. Each of my paintings I hope reveals some small glimmer of story telling, a small slice of time captured in paint.
As a watercolour artist with a passion for sailing ships and tea, I have exhibited my work internationally for over 25 years. Working from my beloved wooden sailing boat, GladTimes or the new larger studio vessel, MFV Smiling Morn.
Below is a bit more detailed information about my life and work.
I trained primarily as a Watercolour artist at Rochester College of Art then proceeded to studio Visual Communication at Maidstone. (Both formerly known as KIAD).
Since then I have progressed to a Masters in typography and a PhD in visual accessibility in design. I have also studied Observational Astronomy, Spiritual Studies in Buddhism, inclusion & Diversity, Tea Tasting and Production and Psychology to degree levels.
My first professional experiences as a visual artist and designer were in stage backdrop painting and set design. Followed by a brief excursion into the architecture world as a graphic artist.
In 2000 I landed a role part of the art & design team on a major international aerial photography mapping project which lead onto working as an art director for many publishers and newspapers and worldwide. Founding a design partnership, Design for Diversity in 2003 which worked internationally troubleshooting art and design inclusion issues and promoting a positive use of diversity. 2003 also saw my first solo exhibition as a landscape painter in London and New York. It was at this time I also started to study Tea Culture and Blending Techniques initially in Darjeeling, where I met a great friend and teacher who was a Buddhist monk.
In 2006 a major exhibition of my work across Design, Art and Photography was held in Tokyo, Japan and in London.
In 2007 I left the design world and focused on my own artworks as well as on my other passion Tea. I was also working as a human rights activist and was appointed to various committees and charity organisations to support their work. Notably LGBT History Month UK and BrokenRainbow.
For the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome I was appointed as design consultant representing the U.K. to the European Parliament as a design judge and critic for their celebrations, keeping a watchful eye for inclusion and accessibility.
For the following few years I exhibited my work around the world, including being appointed the UNESCO Artist Representing the U.K. for the 2009 Year of Astronomy.
During the 2009-2010 years I worked tirelessly on my art and my tea projects. This involved winning national awards for my tea packaging, tea flavours, performing tea ceremonies for members of the Royal Family and visiting dignitaries and appearing frequently on the BBC radio and TV as an artist and tea professional.
After this I focused more on my artwork, my sailing and adventuring. More time in the study of tea culture. I travelled more building up links with tea communities in India, Tibet, and Nepal. This period since 2010 to present has perhaps been my most creative and most productive for paintings and artworks.
My watercolours of my adventures received much interest and were exhibited in the U.K. and USA. My work also included working with TV and Media Companies to help produce better informed and more accurate survival skills both contemporary and historical.
I still work very closely with Tea plantations and tea related companies in India, Nepal and Taiwan now developing retail methods for tea and on supporting ethical and environmental projects to make tea a more sustainable and socially commendable product.
I currently hold the faith title of High Tea Lama of the Rongbuk Monastery in the Himalayas, which was bestowed on me following my work internationally as a Tea Master. Performing tea ceremonies as an art form and encouraging discussions on inter-faith ideas in Buddhism. My tea ceremony work has also lead to diplomatic and training commissions with the UN and various international organisations and governments.
In 2013 I rejoined the Scout Association as a Scout Leader, volunteering my time and skills to encourage young people to be more adventurous and be better citizens of the world. This has been such an amazing and positive experience for which I am grateful. I currently hold two roles in Scouting, first as an Assistant Explorer Scout Leader with an international group with Explorer Scouts in Kent U.K., The Netherlands and Sweden. While my other role is as a UK Specialist Advisor for Diversity and Inclusion.