My passion for landscapes and cityscapes began in my childhood spent on Tyneside and the wild Northumberland coast between Tynemouth and Lindisfarne. At any time on this coastline the weather can shift in mood from gorgeous to malign within minutes.
After working in advertising in London for 25 years, I decided to move to East Sussex. I’d spent several weekends walking on the South Downs and was pleased to discover that they had a similar changing atmosphere and light to that of the Northumbrian coast.
I am inspired by the landscapes of these two locations but, as I’m from a photographic background, my influences also include the photogravures produced by the fine art photographers Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz and Josef Sudek. The other main influence to my style has been the drawings and mezzotints of John Constable. I find working in monochrome helps to capture the atmosphere and darkness of my landscapes.
My printmaking process starts with an intensive period of research and planning using technology to pinpoint interesting angles for my chosen locations on Google Maps. On location, I make quick 20–minute sketches and recordings using photography, film and written notes. I produce the final drawing direct onto clear drafting film using lithograph pencils and graphite in my studio.
I use steel plates which have a photo–sensitive resin layer called photopolymer. Back at my studio, the original drawing is sandwiched together with the plate and exposed in an UV exposure box. This process etches the image onto the plate and is then developed in water and dried overnight. The plate is then inked and, along with dampened paper, run through an intaglio press to produce the handmade print. The print process continues to produce the rest of the limited edition.