JC_HimselfPicture 500pxI was born in Blackburn in 1950 and have recently returned to Clitheroe in Lancashire. I come from an artistic background as my father was an art teacher and a well known local artist. His father and elder brother were also very talented and I still possess examples of all their works. I don’t recall ever being given any formal instruction by my Dad but something has rubbed off along the way. Some say it’s genetic, since my youngest daughter is also an art teacher!

My introduction to railways was at a very early age and although Dad was no trainspotter he could tell the difference between a V2 and an A3 at a distance. My childhood was spent train and bus spotting and holidays were spent in North Wales where I discovered narrow gauge preservation in its formative years. I had no thoughts of a career in art and was steered towards the sciences at school. I married young and acquired a family in fairly short order, so had little opportunity to pursue my artistic aims. I did have sporadic attempts during the 1970s and 80s, but was always overcome by the need to earn a living.

By 1998, my children had fled the nest and I was totally dissatisfied with working for someone else. This led me to think seriously about making a career in art. With developments in computers and reprographics it meant that it was now affordable. Although it was a gamble, it has paid off and over the past 12 years I have painted nearly 1000 pictures – not all of them railway subjects. More importantly, however, I have travelled extensively and discovered that the railway movement contains some of the nicest people in the world, many of whom I now count as friends.