I blame Cecil Beaton. At an impressionable age, I read his memoirs and recognised in an eloquent paragraph on the joy of combining pale grey and apricot an affliction similar to my own. Colour is a limitless source of pleasure and a Roger Hilton abstract in pale umber, white, black, cerulean blue and orange gives me the same thrill as, say, a perfectly-executed volley by Andy Murray. It’s just – right.
Many happy hours can be spent on design, composition, the push and pull of tension, and the challenge of conveying mood and light, and perhaps Cecil can also take the blame for my use of textiles as well as paint. I make a virtue out of necessity and keep things simple. A dozy temperament and a dislike of kit, extending even to sewing-machines, means that I work almost exclusively by hand, often from sketches. I put a very high value on originality and try never to solve a problem in the same way. Honesty is also important.