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Born in 1963, Chris lives in rural Wiltshire; close to the ancient monument of Stonehenge. The Free Festivals held there in the 70’s and 80’s had a profound effect on him. He had spent much of his childhood lost in some project or another, making and painting things. His grandfather had been both an artist and author. Chris’s uncle was also a writer; several episodes of the cult series Dr Who in the 1970’s being his most notable output. With childhood influences like these, to spend a life being creative was a natural progression. Through the Stonehenge festivals, he would find much of the roots and inspiration to that creativity.
He read fantasy and sci-fi books adorned with cover paintings of exotic otherworlds. Becoming aware of artists like Boris Vallejo, Chris Achilleos and Jim Burns. It was also the time of classic album covers. Exemplified by the United Artists era Hawkwind covers depicting crashed spaceships and lonely warriors on the edge of time. Heady stuff. Then Chris discovered Celtic knotwork through the graphics work of Jim Fitzpatrick. Before long, he was painting knotwork onto custom motorcycles.
As an artist, Chris is self-taught. He went to the University of Sussex in 1981 and studied Electronic engineering, spent the best part of a decade working as a freelance architectural technician before becoming an illustrator. In 1994, his first set of Celtic cards were published, closely followed by a commission to illustrate a book. Since then, he has contributed in excess of a thousand illustrations to over 50 books and his Celtic art has been used on cards, window transparencies, mugs, coasters, bookmarks and wall plaques.
In 1998, his book, Celtic Dreams an illustrated anthology of Irish poetry, was published. For this, he collated the poems, wrote the additional text, produced the illustrations, painted the cover and designed all the page layout. For his next two major book projects, Chris produced some 700 illustrations and worked closely with the publishers in the design process of these books; being involved in the page layout and writing much of the text. The two books have gone on to sell tens of thousands of copies and have been published in the UK, United States, France, Germany, Russia and China.
For a decade, Chris concentrated on the Celtic art and the pen and ink work for books.
In 2005, Chris took up digital figurative painting. Inspired by the works of the Pre-Raphaelites, 19th century symbolists, art nouveau, late 20th century fantasy artists, 9th/10th century illuminated manuscripts and dark age craftsman, Chris’s eclectic work is constantly moving forward as he finds new ways to work and refines those techniques he has developed over the years.