Like millions of others I am a great fan of the Red Arrows. I saw their first ever public display with my Dad at the Biggin Hill Airshow in 1965 Flying their Folland Gnat aircraft. Little did I know then that years later I would get to know the team and produce a significant body of artwork, my Red Arrows Collection.
Deep in the winter of 2005, knowing that I would be exhibiting my work for the third time at the 2006 Royal International Air Tattoo, I did my first Red Arrows painting, The Reds Flying through the Bluebell Woods.
The team saw the painting and said that out of all the images produced of the team they had never seen anything like this and on that basis invited myself and Carole up to their home base at RAF Scampton for a behind the scenes visit on 21st November 2006.
We had a brilliant day out and it was a true honour and a privilege to spend time with the pilots and the wider team.
During that day it was suggested we visit them the following year for their Spring training at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus where I might be able to get more “up close” images and maybe inspiration for another painting.
I did indeed get brilliant images and the inspiration for my next painting, “The Reds freestyling past Mitre Peak, Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand. This led to being invited to collaborate with The Red Arrows as artist in residence. This remains a positive good will relationship. This set me off over the next decade to produce the whole of my Red Arrows collection.