In 2010 I was fortunate to spend three months in Florida. Fortunate in many ways, fortunate to meet my future wife, fortunate to experience the U.S. again and see how American culture had changed since I lived stateside in 1976 and fortunate to have time to paint. I have always loved to look at paintings and my career was in art but I never painted in the purist sense of the word. I probably never would have lifted brush to canvas had it not been for her encouragement.
We were talking about art and I was waxing lyrical about the painters I liked and she said why don’t you paint? It was as if I had just heard a funeral bell toll, a silent tumbleweed moment. I came up with a myriad of excuses but I suppose I felt daunted by the prospect. Intimidated even. Ce who was herself an artist was having none of it and so we got some canvasses, acrylic paints an easel and brushes. My first strokes were hesitant, un sure and that was strange to me because in my day job my art was completely confident and assured.
I have always liked American culture and the what is now almost clichéd iconography. The diners, blues and country music, old pickup trucks. These paintings were a fusion of emotional reactions to my surroundings, meeting my wife and memories of my previous times as a teenager in Memphis.
The experiment, for that is what it was, worked. When I returned to England I had the strongest desire to paint and so a journey began which has proved an interesting and challenging one and so it continues but it really started with American Visions.
Ce and I are now divorced but we remain the best of friends.