Age... 43 plus the VAT, sounds much better to me that way.
Portraits are my passion with the occasional landscape.
I'm a very nosey person, I like to people-watch watch, observe social situations both the conventions and the taboos. I have a magpie attitude to inspiration: I seek it from all sorts of sources; I'm always on the lookout for an interesting face, expression or situation.
Often when I talk to people I'm looking at their skin tone or eyes, how would I paint them what colours would I use? I see people fleetingly in the street and think I would love to do their portrait but then they're gone and an opportunity is lost.
I am interested in achieving different styles and references from life and popular culture.
A blank canvas can be quite intimidating so I always take a leaf out of Baldrick's book I use a "cunning plan" Spending time in your head is important most of the painting is done in my imagination a few days or even a few weeks before. So by the time I am sitting in front of a canvas, I know exactly what I am going to do.
I have music on while I'm painting, as soon as I hear a lyric or phrase, I'm transported to a particular time or place and emotion. My taste is eclectic. Working in acrylic I like how it dries so quickly, you can use it thick or as washes, it's incredibly versatile. For more opaque areas I mix it with gouache.
I don't usually rough anything out, I always start with the eyes and completely paint them and move on to the nose and mouth until the canvas is full.
I need to stay in control throughout the process and leave nothing to chance.
The downside sometimes is I run out of space but the upside is you can end up with interesting compositions.