Statement and Biography


I have always loved drawing. The dryness of the paper and the chalk demand precision and exactness. It quickly exposes one’s weaknesses and mistakes, leaving no room for cleverness or tricks.

In my drawings I try to emphasize the singularity and silence of the form. By a careful balancing of tones I emphasise the way in which light and shade fall across the subject. By creating a settled half-light I try to transform the existence of the object from the ordinary to something more profound


1947 Born in Glasgow. Brought up in South Africa

1969 Trained as a graphic designer, Cape Technical College, Cape Town

1970-76 Worked as a designer in advertising

1976 Creative Director of BBDO International, Cape Town. Began painting and drawing (self-taught as a painter)

1976-77 Worked as a freelance illustrator in London

1977 Taught design at Cape Technical College, Cape Town

1978-79 Taught design and drawing, Ruth Prowse School of Art, Cape Town

1983-95 Taught drawing and painting at the Department of Creative Arts, University of Stellenbosch

1992 Joined the Redfern Gallery stable of artists

1996 Moved to England. Gave up teaching to devote himself entirely to his art

2007 First Prize in the BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London

2009 Commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to paint a
portrait of Sir V. S. Naipaul

2010 Completed portrait of Nelson Mandela, now in the
permanent collection of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Johannesburg

2013   First Official Portrait of HRH The Duchess of Cambridge unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery, London