Profile

Nick's home and studio is in part of a watermill on the upper reaches of the River Wylye in South Wiltshire. He finds the river and its surrounding landscape fascinating and compelling and has made it his primary subject over the years. He is drawn to the movement and the patterns made by the flowing water and in the plant life on the banks, and is captivated by the light and colours which change dramatically from one moment to the next, from day to day and season to season.

Nick paints in the studio working from a range of sources: sketchbooks, photos, previous paintings and his own visual memories of the subject. This allows him the freedom that is necessary to put together an idea for a painting and to capture transitory effects.

Sometimes he creates the outline for the composition in his sketchbook, but more often he works out the idea directly onto the canvas. He finds this direct approach more challenging and also more exciting as it is less predictable.The first few stages are carried out with the canvas on the studio floor, turning the act of painting into something free and physical. Nick wets the canvas thoroughly using a water spray, then transparent colour is flooded rapidly onto the surface using a large brush to establish the principle 'blocks' of the painting. He tends to use oranges, reds and yellows at this stage, which give an underlying warmth.

He continues to work with water spray in one hand and a brush in the other allowing the paint to flow, run and diffuse. He then starts to introduce thicker, more opaque paint into the wet surface, producing distinct brush marks, which soften and partially merge into the surrounding paint layer. The painting gradually takes shape with the addition of other colours, using a range of brush strokes and his fingers.

Born 1957 in Oxfordshire, Nick studied Art and Graphic Design in Oxford, London and Cheltenham. Since graduating in 1979, he has been working as an artist and lecturer, living in Wiltshire and Dorset with his wife and daughter. He has exhibited his work throughout the UK, mainland Europe, and the USA.