As a child there was nothing more evocative than the sound of a Merlin engine powered aircraft flying above me at an air show. I marvelled at the spectacle of such magnificent machines performing loop de loops and barrel rolls, sometimes narrowly missing each other in a synchronised display. I couldn't wait to get home and get the paper and crayons out and start drawing what I had seen that day.
My father was my inspiration for getting into painting, for he too shared the love of aircraft and could paint amazing pieces that looked like I was looking at the real thing. He had a gift for capturing the aircraft that I had seen only in black and white photographs in beautiful colour.
It took many years until I ventured into the world of oil painting. I had spent most of my adult life drawing pictures of anything that took my fancy but never took the next step. It wasn't until the summer of 2010 that I decided to have a go at painting, naturally it had to be an aircraft so I looked at my collection of aircraft books to find a picture I could paint. The choice was obvious really, it had to be my favourite aircraft of all time: The Supermarine Spitfire.
For me starting a new painting can be daunting, but I have found over time to trust in my abilities as an artist. Many times I have found that as a piece develops the more confident I feel about it. Every piece seems to bring about these concerns but there comes this moment when something clicks and everything starts to fall into place. I try not to let the fear of a piece not working out stop me from giving it a go, after all sometimes you can learn more from mistakes than you can from something that works out perfect the first time round.
My early work focused on the aircraft itself, but as the years have gone by I have become interested in the human element as well. You can see this in my recent painting of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's Hawker Hurricane. I'm not going to pretend that I know what the two chaps are doing but I loved the moment I captured when taking the photograph for this piece. In some ways I see it as a little nod to the people that help maintain the BBMF aircraft and I wanted to make a piece that showed the engine covers off and in the Hurricane's case the light shining on the fabric covering.
It is still early days for me as an aviation artist and sometimes I find the amount of fantastic artists out there a little intimidating. However I remind myself that they too started out where I am and with time and a lot of practise I can be just as good. I hope you will follow me on my journey as an aviation artist, watch this space!