Born 1960 in Aberdeen/Scotland, I recognised my propensity for art at a relatively young age. But it was an incredibly tough decision to follow up on, a rocky road full of holes.
In my schooldays our family had moved to Africa. I stayed there for 5 years messing up my schooling at a hopelessly bad school but winning art prizes all the same.
Returned home to an early 80s Edinburgh to recapture and live out my lost youth. My lack of school results ensured I would never qualify for any Art College.
So in 1982 whilst catching up on some exam results at a further education college I decided to head off to Greece and start a completely new alternative life, as a modern-day Robinson Crusoe.
But after 3 days with a Scottish alcoholic in a makeshift tent on an isolated beach I gave up on this Crusoe idea. Returning to UK was not an option though.
After two years of sun, sea, sand and eventual betrayal by a girlfriend on Crete it was time to go back home. It seems like that break-up with my girlfriend and a ridiculous misunderstanding with the local police contributed to an incredible decision;
that my purpose is to do art, to bring others joy with my creativity, and to help myself and others rise above the confusions of life by doing art.
I hitch-hiked all the way back to Scotland financing my journey by drawing random portraits of tourists. Then after a short spell doing street portraits at the Edinburgh Festival I moved to Blackpool in the north of England, occasionally selling paintings there door-to-door.
The landlady invited me to come to London. My mind had been made up that I was a natural portrait artist and this was to be my fate, so the streets of London became my work place for some years whilst taking art classes at St Martin's School of Art.
After 5 years of street portraiture I left for Southern Germany with a German girlfriend to develop my career on the Continent. It was there in Bavaria that I finally had my first solo exhibition. This was a major success and led to a string of exhibitions, commissions, and a part-time job as an art teacher at the local adult education schools.
I now live east of Berlin in a fascinating small spa town called Bad Saarow with my own gallery in nearby Fürstenwalde.
The world waits...