I was bought a set of acrylic paints when I was 15 and gradually began to teach myself to make the most of this highly flexible medium. It has become my life's work.
Following A-levels, I hugely enjoyed my year long Foundation Course at (the then) Manchester Polytechnic; throwing myself into 3d work and purely abstract painting for the first time.Yet, at the weekend, I would paint (and sell) small studies of garden birds, having already developed a keen interest in birdwatching.
I eventually turned professional on my 25th birthday and, 3 years later, received the first of my RSPB commissions for a set of Christmas cards. It was the ornithological seal-of-approval I had been looking for.
I have since designed plates for Spode and Danbury Mint, as well as hundreds of greetings cards for various publishers; Royles, Medici and Webb Ivory among them. Charities such as the British Heart Foundation and the Musicians Benevolent Fund have also used my designs on Christmas cards.
I have illustrated 3 children's books.
I now publish my own cards and prints including my distinctive 'Naughty by Nature' range.
I have always worked on a very thick Bockingford watercolour paper, building up the image in layers from the smooth, wet-on-wet washes of the background to the fine details of the main subject.
But recently I have also been painting more freely on canvas, with a controlled splattering of gesso, overpainted with knife, brush and extreme enthusiasm!