I love everything about cycling, its health and environmental benefits, and I cycle as often as I can. Cycling is central to what I do. To find subjects and good conditions I need to be outdoors a lot, yet walking can be a little slow while driving too fast. Getting on and off my bike is perfect, as I can also get to places inaccessible by car.
Over the years this led to the desire to create a completely unique bicycle – a signature bicycle – a work of art in itself like a piece of sculpture that I could put on a plinth in my gallery. It took a long time to plan and build – the mudguards were handmade from Mahogany, Purpleheart, Maple and Wenge, and on the handmade frame every mirror-polished lug has a Fleur de Lys pattern. Amongst many other little details, I even got the pantone colour for the frame to perfectly match one of my paintings of the sea!
I was fortunate to be asked by Dell to explore using their recently launched 27” XPS All-In-One Touch Screen computers. They were interested in seeing what I could do as an artist painting on a touch-sensitive screen. I used the Corel Painter software and a few different styluses. Here are the results.
This painting depicts the last England team to play before the outbreak of the First World War. The side clinched the Grand Slam by defeating France at Stade Columbes on the 13th of April 1914. The players are wearing their club socks.
Six of the players, identified in the painting by the darkened roses on their shirts, went on to die in the war.
The work was commissioned by the RFU to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, and is dedicated to the memory of all rugby players who served and died in the conflict.
Archive photo reproduced by kind permission of the RFU.