Since an early age, I could remember myself preferring sketching and doodling rather then playing with toys. Pencil and paper always before any matchbox car. I can clearly recall this habit going well into my youth (I'm 46 years now!) - then suddenly I stopped. I got entwined into the world of the grownups. I milled furiously in the serious business of the economy of life, that eternal squirrel cage - for a decade I was too busy to have fun.
It all changed by the late 90's, where I had the idea (from reading my favourite magazine - the printed National Geographic) to start doing photography (this was still the film realm, no digital snapshots yet). I dived deep into the enchanting world of Black & White photography and only later did I realise what benefit this era would have on my pastel work. I was and still am entirely self thought, but photography could be dubbed in as my teacher. I shot my own film, developed it in my darkroom and printed my own prints. It was fun but being pre-internet, it was a very lonely activity. After about 10 years of photography, I switched to oil painting. I discovered that oils are a totally different beast to photography. I struggled in the first few years, but slowly I gained traction in baby steps. Later I spent numerous years going out every Saturday painting en plein air with oils and occasionally watercolours and acrylics. They were fun and very formative years.
Finally I discovered pastels, and immediately slipped into this magic medium like a glove. Unknowingly I reaped the benefit of my doodling and photography years, and the observation skills I honed in my plein air. The jigsaw pieces finally fell in their place. I initially started with student grade pastels, but in a short while i was all for Unison Colour, hypnotised not only by their pigment power, but more importantly by their extensive range of greys. No one appreciates greys more then plein air artists.
Thanks to so many 'practice' years (read as decades) in so many disciplines I had a good run with my pastel work and was exhibiting in shows and having my work collected. I am now eager to enthusiastically share this wonderful medium with the public and have just started my first YouTube pastel instruction videos. To compliment, I have recently been incorporated with Unison Colour as Associate Artist for which I have some exciting ideas. It is a new fun adventure..