“I was born in Derbyshire, although one poet said ‘I was born in a ship on the breast of the river of time’, which I thought was pretty good. I came to drawing and painting quite late, mainly due, I think, to a sadistic art teacher at grammar school who wielded his cane often and with little provocation; even his nickname was ‘Slogger’. But colour played a large part in my career in the textile industry, particularly in the dyeing of fabrics. My creative outlet for most of my life has been writing – poems, short-stories, plays – and a little am-dram and film-extra work. I often used to write in cafes, working stories around customers I saw there – giving them different lives, then in 2005 I started sketching the people in cafes instead of writing about them, and found I really enjoyed doing that. So, my love of the visual arts began. One day I saw that Quad in Derby had a monthly portrait session. I went along and became a regular member of that group, organised by Ann Eames, and six months later discovered the Derby Sketching Club. I have been a member for several years now. I enjoy trying all mediums and different art forms, portrait, landscape, life and still-life. I also enjoy visiting art galleries and watching art programmes on television. What I particularly like about art is that I feel there are so many ways to approach it, nothing right or wrong – unlike a crossword aficionado – so long as one enjoys doing it.”