Originally raised in Bailiff Bridge but later finished my adolescent years in Clifton, Brighouse, much to my dismay. Bailiff was my blood. Failed miserably at Hipperholme Grammar School. (Found myself still lost to any direction in life for a further 12 months.) Worked briefly through the summer of 1974 at Brookfoot Dyers Mill tendering cloth. Continued my failure at Hipperholme attempting to gain some form of qualification. Gained employment in Elland as a Chain lad for Balfour Beatty who were constructing the new sewage works. Saw the winter out before taking a labourer’s role for Millers Construction through the red-hot summer of 75. Finally nailed a place at Batley Art College doing a foundation course that led on to a graphic course that led to a job in Osset as a studio artist for a silk screen-printing company – RGS.
This is where my story begins. Here I actually learned how to use colour. Sod the silkscreen process here was a golden nugget in oils. The extraordinary talents of Dave Atack & Mike Langdale made the long cycle journey bearable. Dave Atack virtually opened my eyes and taught me how to see.
I was hooked. These sideline introductions to the greatness of British artists such as Stanhope Forbes, Harold Harvey, Alfred Munnings, Arnesby Brown, Fred Hall, Edward Seago and Laura Knight, nothing could compare. The flippant drawing interludes of Atacky savaged my curiosity. It came down to him to show me how the use of 4 primary colours could masterfully create a vision on any surface.
Sadly, 1987, the continuous reality of our new world hit home for me. Never having enough money forced me to quit in search of a more rewarding job. More failure in Norfolk and Suffolk with my attempts at open-air oils. Out of 30 or so works only 5 were of any calibre. My brushes were packed away 1988/89.
Eventually gained other various roles in employment none of which paid any substantial money. As a distraction I excelled with a few cartoons of the staff at ABB valves in Brighouse. I immensely enjoyed doing the annual Xmas mural until industrial relations collapsed and failure found me once again.
Another spate of bob-a-jobs continued until 2002 when I secured what was my first well-paid job. In 20010 I was bullied out of my position and was left with no alternative but to quit. Failure again. Whilst looking for permanent work I was obligated to take temporary agency work which due to the enforced nature of agency work left intermittent long periods of unemployment and so left me time to paint. My most productive period to date – April 2009 to April 2011 – eventually I had to take another job to alleviate the financial hardship. Another agency contract that led me to more unrewarding fulltime work on subsistence pay that extinguished any further artist aspiration. This full time employment was where I worked enclosing machines for the publicly owned Lloyds bank. After two years Lloyds sold to Communisis and 7 years later I find myself bullied once again into unemployment with failure knocking on my door – and so I progress !
Using that tiresome phrase, “Going forward” I find myself being welcomed back to a bygone era of hardships once again with a smattering of work to sell to the highest bidder.
Left behind by right-minded people.
Thank you if you have bought one of my works. I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I enjoyed painting it.
All Saints Church Elland Art fair 2019 – 8 works submitted – 2 sold – mild success
Cambridge University Summer open exhibition 2019 – 2 works submitted – 2 rejected – failure
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