I am a Durham based portrait artist married to Elaine with two lovely children, Oliver and Elise.
We live in the beautiful historic city of Durham which, with the renowned Durham Cathedral and Castle, is a truly inspirational place. We have lived here for 30 years and love it. We are just on the outskirts of the city so it is very easy to nip in and out as we like.
I love creativity in general but art, music and words have always fascinated me. The way colours work together to form shape and form is wonderful. My musical interests are varied also and as a drummer I have a particular soft spot for good beats and rhythm.
I began my career working as a graphic designer for Durham Police, creating leaflets, posters and reports. I have always enjoyed the process of portrait painting and the skill and patience needed in getting an accurate likeness that reflects a person’s personality. As this interest became known I was approached to create ‘artist’s impressions’ which involved sitting with a victim of crime to get information in order to sketch a likeness of their attacker. As you can imagine this is a very sensitive and delicate process but it seemed to be quite an effective way of producing an accurate image of an alleged criminal. Indeed I would often be told vital information regarding a crime that would be missed in the statement to the police. These drawings proved very successful in providing evidence to prosecute criminals. Many would own up to the crime on seeing how close a likeness was.
I eventually left the police and joined a large design & print group specialising in pharmaceuticals for clients like Procter & Gamble. I also did some retouching work on some Spice Girls posters, which were being sponsored by Pepsico, who we did a lot of work for. I shall not mention what was retouched though.
From here I joined Robson Brown Communico, the largest advertising agency in the north of England, where I worked on design briefs and advertising for clients like Forbo, Blacks and Whitfield & Lindsay.
I then joined a packaging design agency in Stocksfield, where I worked on ready meal packaging and marketing for The Co-operative Group and International Cuisine. I also created the Galaxy chocolate sundae packs which was rather nice.
After this venture I had a short spell at Ebac dehumidifiers working on marketing mailers and packaging for watercoolers, dehumidifiers and also branding and packaging for the Waterfall Spa in Leeds.
It was at this time that I was approached by an old colleague to go into business together, which was very exciting and so we set up Halogen Creative. This business has been going now since 2005 and we are very active in marketing for various clients whether for branding, brochures, websites or packaging.
I’m obviously quite busy with the business but have now managed to get some time at home to enjoy drawing and portrait painting again. It started when I was showing my son how to ‘scale up’ images to paint to help him with his school art assignment. I demonstrated how to start a portrait painting, ‘block in’ colour, and then build layers of colour on the portrait painting, and then finish with touches of detail. This actually had the affect of putting him off art but rekindling my enthusiasm for it. The portrait paintings you see on here are the result of that renewed enthusiasm for art.
I hope you enjoy looking through my work.