Meet the artist...
I was born in 1963 in South Yorkshire, the youngest of six children. My father and my mother chose to end their early professions as coal miner and hotel cook to pursue life as steward and stewardess of public houses, which had a huge impact on the way my life was to develop - moving from place to place.
It was back in the 1970s when my parents finally settled in Stockport, Cheshire, where, as a young boy, I had my first taste of narrow boating. Three boats, with twelve lads per boat, on a school outing. It was terrific tripping through the industrial city of Birmingham. I had so much fun. So much, in fact, that I took part in the next two school canal trips. I think what excited me at the time was being away from home for a week with my school chums. The narrow boats we hired were from a company in Middlewich and were all named after trees: Sycamore, Oak and Poplar. Each vessel a thing of beauty painted in traditional colours adorned with the castles and roses that are commonplace in canal boat art. It wasn’t until later in life, though, that my interest in this art form began.
At an age when I was able to hire a boat for myself, I took the opportunity to introduce my daughter Stacey to the canals of Great Britain. I was now taking more time to really see the things around me: the beautiful countryside, the sometimes-amazing wildlife, and the beautiful boats in their finery - glossy coats shining in the morning sunlight. You can really respect what many owners have done with their pride and joy, and, as you slowly pass them by, you can’t help but smile (even chuckle) at some of the names they choose to call their crafts. Most of all, though, I admired the colourful paraphernalia displayed on many of the narrow boats and in the canal side stores. The simplicity with which the art is applied and the splendour of what it can become. It was this that appealed to me most as I dusted off my old paintbrushes and began to bring the life back into traditional items found on the canals.
I hope that my artwork, in its naive primitive style, can show the beauty that can be found in this traditional British Folk Art - an art that I have grown to love and a history that I have learned to cherish.
Finally I would like to thank my wife Christina, who helped me immensely in getting this site up and running. She is truly a wonderful person and my best friend. I love her dearly.