In 1977, at 21, I had a crash at Brands Hatch race course which left me paralysed. It is motor racing and painting that have kept me going in life.
Leonard Cheshire Disability has helped me extraordinarily. After a few years in hospital, I moved into one of their independent living bungalows. This was vital for my sense of well-being.
Even better, I have a place to do my artwork across the road at the Seven Springs service, where we keep the brilliant ‘rotating canvas’ I use to paint.
Painting takes my mind off the stresses and strains of life. It lifts the spirits. I wake up in the morning, get an idea of what to paint and it evolves as I go. I love colour — always lots of stimulating colours!
I’ve had one or two things exhibited at The Royal Academy. More recently, it was great to have about 200 of my works exhibited at the local Trinity Theatre in 2014.
I don’t know what my paintings mean for other people but they seem to like them. If I can help others and they can get something out of it too, I think that’s great. I have about 250 paintings now, so I’m always happy if anyone wants to display them or take some off of my hands!
I love nature and exploring the outdoors whenever I can. I love going on holiday in the UK and abroad. I think it’s really good that Leonard Cheshire are happy to let me do my own thing. On the lawn, I even have an old-fashioned phone box and a red post box installed, and they don’t mind a bit. I’ll keep adding to my vintage collection. And of course I’ll keep on painting.
If I can help others and they can get something out of it too, I think that’s great.