Imagine , as a very small child, being whisked away from the North West of England to the Northern reaches of Nigeria, West Africa, to a completely different culture, language, food... and weather!
Imagine also travelling around the borders of Nigeria on a railway coach built for a family of five, that travelled as far North to the
beginnings of the Sahara desert.
This is what happened to me!
But it wasn't just that, there were the sights, the sounds, smells and colours of deepest Africa. From the hypnotic African drummers and colourfully clothed dancers, the 'JuJu' men, and where the local children, who had never seen white man before, who simply came out of the bush to play with me.
They had nothing! Nothing materialistically, but were happy!
I remember the handsome black faces and perfectly white teeth, and i am sure they remember my blonde hair and blue eyes.
They would pick up and stroke my blonde hair with open mouths, as if the colour was a figment of their imagination.
This is where my creativeness, my imagination, had a kickstart.
Then came the brutality of the Biafran war, the tribal massacre of men, women and children and we escaped back to England
to lick our wounds.
Boarding school and art figured in my life, and much later on became a successful Actor and sportsman, then subsequently an Author, but only after being told by a clairvoyant that I must write!
And I did, and 27 successful books later, some best sellers, mainly children's and fantasy, wrote my greatest work, the trilogy, The Wand Chronicles, which is shortly to be made into a major TV series:
I am a 'Pantser' , someone who writes by the seat of their pants. A colourful, furtive, unstoppable imagination, I would come up with an idea and simply write.
And then, many years after my 'A' level art, picked up a paintbrush,
some cheap acrylic paints and started to paint...and haven't stopped!
Now having numerous commissions and sales of my paintings under my belt.
Although I will explore all sorts of styles,
I am drawn back again ,and again ,to paintings that are sometimes
abstract and heavily influenced by the deep ,rich, colours of Africa.