|HELLO, AND WELCOME TO MY WEBSITE!
To the left, you see me as I am now, often in pain as a result of spinal fractures. (I took this photograph of myself in June 2010 in one of my greenhouses.) To the right, you see me as I was many, many moons ago. From the younger photograph, you will understand at once that wicked sense of humour which has never deserted me - and which permeates my art. ...Oh. The updated image won't load - at any resolution.
Colour and creativity have always been essential to my being; I have always seen the world as a canvas and wanted to create beauty on it. As a teenager, I was lucky enough to be offered a place in a prestigious art school in London, England, but was unfortunately never in a position to take it up. Throughout life, I have struggled to make ends meet in career fields to which I was not suited. Writing, Christian missionary work, psychotherapy...All might have been of interest as alternative careers, but the money (or health) to pursue any of these was always absent. Finally, close to retirement, and gutted at the prospect of hitting the grave without ever having given expression to the real 'me', I tossed aside the (considerable) cares of this life and, during the three months I had available in the summer of 2009, threw myself into a frenzy of creating, using whatever knowledge of digital art I could abstract along the way. I am new to both computing and digital art.
All of the portrait paintings exhibited on 'Yessy' – for sale in print-form only – have come from the only three paintings I had ever done in my life. These originals were all done in oils, on canvas board.
The earliest, painted in my teens, was entitled 'Sister Dorothy'. It sprang entirely from my imagination, bore no relation to the demure and benign missionary Sister Dorothy I actually knew, but was in fact a parody on arrogance – a trait not spared by one or more beings in my close entourage!
The second painting was entitled 'Kruger', and was inspired by a painting I set eyes on as a teenager. It was done at about the same time as 'Sister Dorothy' and my interpretation was designed to shock, to appall, to unsettle. Psychosis, unpredictability, danger...These are the traits which I have continued to inject into the more representative offshoots of the original 'Kruger'.
By contrast, painting no 3, which was done in my thirties, is my interpretation of a photograph sent to me by a beautiful young lady of around my own age, from the North of England – who to this day remains a lifelong friend. As you can see, Susie does not lend herself to infusion with the macabre!
I have very many versions of most of the paintings displayed on 'Yessy'. Some show almost imperceptible variation, in colour or facial expression. Colour is of paramount importance in much of my work. Please see the important section below, on 'Colour and Printing'.
I became a teacher - and a counsellor of emotionally disturbed adults...But Education was not my vocation. My interests are many and include Latin conversation (well, when my father was alive to converse with, anyway), psychiatry (having come into contact with some interesting characters), poetry, learning, reading, foreign travel, singing and gardening (both impossible now) and much else. All these inform my work.
Above all, I have a deep interest in the spiritual, and not just in orthodox Christianity. I've read thirty or so fascinating books on the afterlife, conveyed from the other side by those who have actually passed over, or by those still on this side who have come out of sometimes prolonged comatose states. In this regard, let me make it clear that at no time have I any desire to offend anyone whose religious beliefs may be at variance with my own. If, for example, I appear in my art to be mocking Christianity, then that is not actually my intention – at all. The intention is far more likely to be to convey a rather mischievous glance on my part in the direction of an individual who himself holds Christianity in contempt. In other words, my art is usually a documenting of other people's viewpoints rather than an expression of my own. And this stems from my lifelong interest in the human mind.
The art which most inspires me is Byzantine. The colours are so beautiful.
Finally, there are a few observations I'd like to make regarding my own art. Firstly, you will notice that many of my characters have unclear gender orientation. While myself drawn to neither homosexuality, transexuality nor transvestitism, I set out, with no value judgement, to depict any aspect of human life for its intrinsic interest. And as for gender... Well, we are all made up of male and female whether we like it or not! You will see that I depict drug addicts, prostitutes, and all kinds of people on the fringes of society.
Most of my portraits have links upwards from the top of the head - lines drawn up and out of the top of the drawing surface. These represent our links, our indissoluble links, as humans, with the divine.
Lastly, very many of my paintings exist as mirror images of each other, facing opposite directions. These can be purchased even if not on display in 'Yessy', so as to be able to be hung in pairs - one each side of a fireplace, for example. If a client would like to obtain the 'partner' to any image he is ordering, he should simply pay for TWO prints and make it clear to me that the second print he has paid for is the 'partner' to the first.
I hope you enjoy dipping in to the oddities in my galleries! Please return - as I shall constantly be adding to them, and hope next to branch out into abstracts, landscapes - and, not least, the mystical and the spiritual. With enough freedom from more pressing concerns, I intend too to dip my toe into the irresistible sulphur springs of Surrealism.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT:
COLOUR , PRINTING, IMAGE-SIZES available, and FURTHER VIEWINGS:
I had hoped to make available giclée prints of those of my paintings in which colour is of paramount importance – for example, in the multitude of 'Circus' prints not on display in 'Yessy'. But unfortunately, I now find this virtually impossible (until I can get my own giclée printer with its 12 or so ink-cartridges) as a human printer would need not information about the colour profile my laptop uses, but a physical copy of my work in its intended colours. As my work is for the most part digital, a physical original cannot be provided, for colour matching purposes, as what I am currently able to reproduce in physical form falls short of my colour expectations – particularly where blue is important. Some of the blues I paint with are particularly beautiful.
Colour accuracy is less important, I think, in those of my paintings which are not dependant on the colour blue. The other thing which any prospective purchaser needs to be aware of, is that what HE sees, in terms of colour, on HIS screen, may be rather different from what on MY screen I myself see. Computer monitors (and laptop screens) display colour differently.
One group of paintings contains a lot of blue (blended), and I CAN say that my own printer is able to reproduce precisely, in this case, the colour I am after. These paintings all fall within the 'Susie' Collection. As I am myself able to produce, therefore, a print sample in the correct colour, these 'Susie' paintings may, by arrangement, be available for sale, through a human giclée printer (at a cost! - giclées are not cheap) in sizes considerably larger than A4.
For the time being, I am offering for sale prints I can take myself, in up to A4 size. The papers I have available to choose from are (a) 170 gsm semi-glossy photographic paper for inkjet printers; (b) 120 gsm matte coated inkjet paper; and (c) 120 gsm premium quality printer paper. Papers (a) and (b) are off-white and paper (c) is white. I am a perfectionist, and recommend that the safest bet for anyone intending to make a purchase, might be for him to leave the choice of paper to me – simply because choosing, for example, the SEMI-GLOSSY PAPER can give startlingly disappointing results in terms of reproduction of detail (which may appear largely lost) and/or colour in certain prints. This has been my experience in taking test prints. Occasionally, the same paper will give better results than either of the other two papers. It really does depend on the individual painting or drawing being reproduced. If a client is keen for me to use a specific paper, I will do so – he should contact me to let me know - but I will not then be able to guarantee the best results.
If any client is keen for me to obtain giclée prints of any size on his behalf, in relation to any image(s), I will look into this, as I am in contact with a very good giclée printer (human, not machine!), and will let him know of the outcome of my enquiries. Most of my work can be reproduced to quite a large size. My only misgiving is that I shall, as the artist, myself have no control over the colour a human printer will provide us with – and (it should be understood that) any irrecoverable costs incurred in the process of obtaining giclée prints, from an outside source, in connection with a special order, would be excluded from Yessy's normal refund policy.
If any print APPEARS to be other than A4 in size, and is being offered for sale in A4 size, it will in fact be AS seen, BUT centralized on an A4 sheet of paper. Also, on all prints, any white border NOT visible against the white background on 'Yessy' is always minimal, and placed around the image purely to ensure that none of the image escapes printing.
I currently send out prints rolled up in a cardboard tube, as this seems to be pretty protective. By request, I would consider purchasing flat boarded envelopes, but I suspect these will offer less protection. I am quite happy to ship artwork across the world.
Finally, if any client would like to see more variations of any particular image, and he contacts me to tell me this, I will try to assemble these in one place for him to view. I can exhibit only five variants (maximum) of any one image on 'Yessy', but often these may be five chosen from ten, twenty or even a hundred slightly different images.
Many thanks for your interest!