In 1991 I achieved a BA(Hons) in Surface Pattern Design at Staffordshire University before completing an MA in Printed Textiles at the Royal College of Art in 1993. After graduating I designed for furnishing textiles and greeting card companies and was a visiting lecturer at several art and design degree courses around the country. At the same time I began exhibiting my work in galleries and at Art fairs and was quickly spotted by the 'Art Group', a major contemporary art publishing company who created prints of my work which have sold worldwide and featured in major stores such as Habitat and Ikea. My images have also been used for childrens books, magazine covers, wallpaper, rugs and stage sets.
In 1999 I moved to Dartmouth in Devon where my wife Theresa and I opened an Art gallery exhibiting not just my paintings, but the work of over 40 other contemporary artists, ceramicists and sculptors. We produced our own range of cards, prints and limited editions and held numerous exhibitions promoting art in Devon. In August 2006 we decided to sell the gallery business to enable us to dedicate our time solely to painting and design once again. We are both now lucky enough to work from studios at home, to see designs by Theresa Hart go to creativehart.co.uk.
The subject matter of my work has mainly focused on my love of fishing villages and harbours in Cornwall. I'm so drawn towards the brightly painted fishing boats and houses which provide such a wonderful contrast against the natural tones of the surrounding landscape. The work of the St Ives school of artists in particular has been a major influence in my compositions and mark making.
I'm fascinated by the wonderful variety of architectural styles and the varying landscapes you encounter around the world and have travelled to destinations such as Marrakech, Venice, Barcelona and the Provence to gather a wealth of ingredients and source material that continues to inspire many collections.
Most people still associate me with the unique collage style that gives my work such a strong identity and helped launch my career as an artist. But I'm someone who is eager to explore new techniques and directions, and after several courses exploring Printmaking in 2001 I felt it was time for a change. I began Monoprinting, focusing on simplicity of line rather than shape and colour. My work became looser, more spontaneous, I let accidents happen and became more direct with marks I put down on the paper. I couldn't work without colour for long though and in 2002 began to experiment with painting on board. I discovered the wonderful versatility of Acrylics with their opaque and translucent qualities. I was able to layer paint easily and scratch into it while it was wet exposing many different colours in one area. Working on board I then found I could sand the surface after to soften tones and shapes.
In early 2007 I moved into a new much larger studio. Without the commitments of running the gallery it has been easier to concentrate on developing new imagery and I have found myself revisiting my textiles background and looking at bold shapes and pattern within my compositions. I have started to paint on canvas too and am enjoying working on a much larger scale than ever before.