Born in Nottingham, England, I moved at an early age to north Wales where I went to school. Growing up close to the magnificent castles of King Edward I, I developed a lifelong interest in history and the medieval period in particular. Add to that a German great-grandfather who was an architect, a German grandfather who was an artist and a brother, Henry, who is a full-time artist and it was perhaps inevitable that I should eventually combine my own love of drawing with my interest in history and the built heritage.
Initially however, on the advice of my teachers, I chose a career in science, going to Cardiff in south Wales to study geology. The highlights of my time there were five summers spent on expedition in Norway doing fieldwork for my B.Sc. and then for my Ph.D. Drawing during those years was largely confined to recording geological structures, though I did sketch my expeditionary colleagues in 1973 and 1974.
I then worked for several years as a professional geologist, teaching in universities in Swansea in south Wales and in Dublin in Ireland. In Ireland, as well as teaching, I worked for the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI), mapping and making geological maps for publication and later researching, writing and designing geo-tourism pamphlets aimed at a non-professional audience. A number of geological publications came out of this period. During this time I also illustrated a resource book for schools on environmental issues.
I made my first serious reconstruction drawing in 1990. This drawing of Kells Priory in County Kilkenny, Ireland, an Augustinian monastery, was made as a wedding present. It subsequently became the centrepiece of a booklet I designed and wrote on the priory, published in 1993. The full text and illustrations are posted on the Internet courtesy of German photographer Dirk Frantzen, together with his own photographs of the priory. A second edition of the book is in preparation at the time of writing.
Publication of the Kells Priory drawing in Ireland of the Welcomes, an Irish tourist magazine, and later in Archaeology Ireland, led to a series of commissions for further drawings. At first these were done between geological contracts, but in 2004, after a short period as an instructional designer in the I.T. industry, I decided to make archaeological and historical reconstruction a career. In April 1996 I was judged to qualify for tax-exemption as an artist for this work.
Since then I have been fully employed on commissions for both serial (multiple) reconstructions and individual drawings. These have gone on permanent display at the sites they illustrate and have been published in site guides and other books and journals.
Member of the Association of Archaeological Illustrators & Surveyors (MAAIS)
Member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (MIAI)
2007 National University of Ireland, Galway: Enrolled for M.Litt (Archaeology) on the subject of archaeological reconstruction
1983 University of Wales, Cardiff, Wales: Ph.D. (Caledonian geology of central Norway)
1975 University of Wales, Cardiff, Wales: B.Sc. Honours Geology (Class I)
Experienced in Microsoft Word, PhotoShop, CorelDraw, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, AutoCAD LT, AutoCAD; some knowledge of Microsoft Access, Paint Shop Pro, WordPerfect, XML, Linux and C#
Medieval history, archaeology and architecture, and castles in particular; drawing and design; current affairs; reading, crime fiction in particular; most music, but particularly opera; cinema; town and country walking; geology and its popular presentation; home, marriage, family and friends.