Ever since I began to paint seriously in 2003, I had a firm goal in mind of exactly the ‘look’ I wanted to achieve with my work. It has been a long process and involved a close study of artists I admire. For example I learned the vital importance of tonal control from the limited palette of Ashley Jackson; the great US water-colourist Nita Engle taught me the freedom of working with wash and mask; Turner demonstrated to me the importance of light and then the great Victorian masters taught me the value of craftsmanship and construction. The final piece to my jigsaw fitted when I saw the magnificent ‘Bigger Picture’ exhibition by David Hockney at the RA. He taught me the necessity of ‘making marks’. By incorporating all these lessons I am near my goal at last! As a traditional painter I am also grateful to David Hockney for championing the art of real painting. I hope that from now on people will feel free to admire traditional painting skills without being made to feel that they are old fashioned or out of touch.... thank you David!