As a wildlife artist, birds and their environment have always inspired me. I work in the field sketching and painting directly from life and this has been the driving force throughout my working career. Sketching something that may disappear at any moment is an exciting challenge and all the elements of working directly from life help to create a more convincing image. During this process, ideas for more finished watercolour paintings often materialize. I like to spend as much time as possible sketching and drawing a subject to understand it and I try to capture the subtle features that give a bird its ‘individuality’. I usually sketch in A4 sketchbooks and have blocks or loose sheets of watercolour paper to hand when called for.
In 1990, I was asked to illustrate ‘The Garden Bird Book’ for New Holland Publishers in London.
Over the following two years, I was totally focused on sketching as many of the ninety or so species to appear in the book. Following the success of this publication, other books followed such as ‘The Birds of Britain and Ireland’ , ‘An introduction to Birdwatching’ (Bill Oddie), and the ‘Garden Bird Year’. Later, many of these were published by ‘The Wildlife Trust’ in smaller pocket guide formats.
I have participated in ‘The Artists for Nature’ (ANF) projects in Poland, Extremadura Spain, Loire Valley France and Israel.
I am a member of the ‘Society of Wildlife Artists’ (SWLA), and exhibit regularly at their exhibitions in London and locally in Ireland during the world famous Opera Festival which is held annually in Wexford.