Growing up in a northern mill town I loved to escape the endless rows of houses and slate roofs to explore the wild hills, becks and moors beyond. Fifty years later, the heathland, vineyards and wooded countryside of the elegant Surrey Hills have replaced those dry stone walls, moors and ‘dark satanic mills’ of my youth. The Surrey lanes, tracks and gentle undulations now inspire me to sketch lines and shapes which form my ideas and evolve into finished compositions, often featuring man-made structures sitting within the nature around them. That love of the majestic, rugged beauty from my northern roots will always be with me however, and I often find myself injecting some of those gritty, moody feelings into my work. Capturing a sense of drama is important and this arises from my experience as a young dancer and my love of music and the performing arts. My paintings have a lively, expressive and semi- abstract style characterised by a colourful palette, free energetic brushwork and quick, gestural marks using a variety of tools. I love drips, splashes, distorted lines and loose layers of different paint thicknesses. Playing with and manipulating paint is fun and exciting and I like the looseness and spontaneity it injects into my work, whether I am capturing trees and roads in landscapes or bodies in figurative work. After graduating in Fine Art at the University of Reading in 1984 I pursued a career in music and performing arts education and completed an MEd in Creative Arts at the University of Exeter. Over the years my work has been exhibited, commissioned and bought by collectors in the UK and USA. This is my second year when I open my studio in East Horsley for Surrey Artists’ Open Studios.