Since 2013 I’ve been building up a collection of illustrations and prints of iconic buildings and landmarks. Each one is steeped in history, and each has a story to tell. I have a genuine interest in our heritage and an incessant need to understand (completely) my subject-matter. Consequently, through my research and collection of visual historical references, I created the ‘Hidden Histories’ concept. Faced with the challenge of not only producing an accurate artwork of each building, I set myself the task of ‘building in’ the story of its history too. From list-making, researching and sourcing visual references, eventually I reach a ‘bar’ and the illustrating and layering begins. Gradually I start to construct the pastel drawing over black and white imagery to create the finished illustration.
I am a freelance artist living near Buxton in the heart of the beautiful Peak District. I have three children, all living away from home, and all pursuing their own careers in the arts. As a result, I share my home and studio with my loving cat Lola, and super-gorgeous ‘Sprollie’ dog Trevor. They both vie for my position under the drawing board whilst I work.
As I apply the layers of pastel and pencil crayon, the Hidden Histories become concealed. In this way, I encourage the viewer to look deeper into the picture and cross-reference their own findings. This unique quality adds a new depth to the illustration, and has proved popular with my customers and followers.
Having built up a collection of Derbyshire illustrations, my fascination with historical stories took me to The Royal Albert Hall last year. The finished piece and the story behind its creation was received with enthusiasm. Together with work in progress images, they published it on the Blog of their website. You can read the article by clicking here.
Personal commissions have also permitted me a privileged insight into the stories behind other less public places. I have drawn family homes, landscapes, holiday homes, wedding and special occasion venues and even student homes. Entry into the prestigious Buxton Spa Prize Open Competition over four consecutive years has seen my work awarded three times. The involvement with this competition has been inspiring, with diverse collections of work by artists from all over the country, and all illustrating the beauty of our Spa Town of Buxton, itself so rich in history.