I originally started painting in mixed media when I created a number of paintings based on the trees in Thwaite Hall Gardens / Grounds in Cottingham before I went to College full time to study art. I always used to walk around the less manicured parts of the grounds to take photographs and sketch and below are two of the original paintings that certainly influenced my later illustration work, such as the mixed media gravestone Illustrations. When I say mixed media – I used almost anything back then on my mixed media art without worrying about how long it would last or how to fix and protect it. In these pieces I used acrylics, black ink, chalk pastels, charcoal, oil pastels and make-up (lip stick and eye shadow) in lovely colours that were perfect for the autumn / winter dead foliage and general woodland. They have survived quite well considering how they were created and what medium was used.