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"I painted this not long after Valentines Day so I guess I was inspired to paint something with that particular day of the year in mind. For a while I'd been toying with the idea of manipulating the clouds and landscape into a subtle heart shape and this painting provided the perfect opportunity. The two clouds and farthest hill come together and form a simple heart shape with encompass the house. The simple setting and warm colour palette conjures up a feeling of warmth, love and romance."
"Living in Poole, Dorset, means that I live only a few minutes from the countryside and only a few minutes from the sea so they will always be a feature in my paintings. The Dorset landscape is an area of great beauty and an obvious source of inspiration. Whenever possible I'll take the family off to the countryside to explore nature; it's something I always did as a child. My children are also an indirect source of inspiration as the programmes they like to watch on TV are great fun. The rolling landscapes in shows like Postman Pat, Bob The Builder and many more look so idyllic, they got me to see the world through a child's eyes.
I remember as a child that the Mr Men books were my absolute favourite and they also had those rolling hills, little cottages etc. At the other end of the scale I am inspired by paintings with good brushwork; I love traditional oil painting techniques and although I am self-taught I have always sought out information on such techniques. In my work I have tried to find the middle ground between a child-like appeal and good traditional brushwork and I think I am succeeding in doing that. I can't really pick on any one artist whose work I admire, although I love to watch recent TV programmes by Rolf Harris - I love his honesty and can really relate to the ups and downs that that he goes through with each painting."