I built my large wooden studio in our garden more than 30 years ago. I previously had a number of productive and happy years sharing a studio in Holborn with Graham Crowley, Vanessa Jackson and others. But when the men in suits with laser rulers came round we knew our days in the studio were numbered. The building owned by the church was to be converted to flats. So with the help of a few friends, including very fortuitously a master carpenter and an architect, I decided to build my own.
It is now, like me, steadily biodegrading but I still love every minute of working in there. The light comes from windows on one side of the pitched roof facing north giving a beautiful even light with no direct sun. It occupies our garden alongside studios of my wife Betty who is a potter.
I use a wide range of brushes, rollers, sponges etc. Many of the brushes are old friends that each play a special part in my painting process.
I use acrylic paint in various consistencies, from tube, jar and made up myself in many containers.
My paintings are begun stapled to the floor before being transferred to the wall for further work. The floor is wooden and covered by layers of old paintings which have bitten the dust and been discarded as failures over the years, taken off their stretchers and recycled.
I think I am one of the few left still making my own stretchers. There are others, Gill Ingham a fellow London Group member told me she still does. A “skill” taught in my early days at Colchester School of Art that has stayed with me ever since. I like the idea of the whole painting being made by me from start to finish.
This is one of my studio chairs that has been with me throughout the ups and downs of making art for more than 30 years. “Borrowed” from the Royal College restaurant in 1975 after end of course drunken revelries and taken home on the top deck of a bus. It has been with me in various studios since and bears the evidence of many paint spatters and splashes.