I learned to paint when I was a teenager, at school in Essex, England. I could have studied painting, but I had no vision for the kind of abstract work that excited people then, and chose an academic path instead. This led to a degree and eventually Ph.D - and a career teaching mostly literature; I also wrote, some plays and tv scripts, and translated some other people's poetry. I drew quite a lot but didn't paint much, lacking the space and resources.
Then in 1997, with all deadlines long expired, I rediscovered two long-forgotten activities - painting and motorcycling. I found, first, an ancient, simple connection between danger and beauty - I knew what I wanted to paint and how to paint it. Now I live in West Essex, bordering London, and the starting points for many of my paintings are photographs taken here, where urban development is creating whole new kinds of wilderness. Other cities have their fascination, but the London hinterlands come first.