About Me

I am a British artist, living and working on the North Devon coast near Croyde. I’m passionate about the natural environment, engaging with nature, in the sea through surfing, and hiking in areas of outstanding natural beauty.

I don’t paint in any one style and medium. I like to experiment, sometimes using only charcoal for long periods, at other times bright luscious acrylics, watercolours or oils. There’s a time and a place for everything, its the same with subject matter, and the tools I use to apply paint.

I’ve been painting professionally for 23years now.

If you want to find out a little more about my artistic journey then click on Biography below.

I was born on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, two degrees south of the equator. We lived there until I was three, in a house on stilts that would rock with the earthquakes. The beaches were volcanic black sand, and when my parents were at work the local villagers would look after us. After that we spent many years living in the Middle Eastern in Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Oman. When I was eight I came to the UK to be schooled. My parents have always had a passion for travel and adventure, I have them to thank for my own wanderlust.

After school I studied a BA (hons) in Mechanical Engineering for a year, and then Geography & Geology for a year. I was young and restless, yearning for a more exotic path through life. I couldn’t see myself pursuing careers in either one of these disciplines and so abandoned them to pursue a creative life of my own making. Both these courses were in Birmingham and so I found myself living there for the next 5yrs. I was a skateboarder and my creative peers were graffiti artist’s. I worked at developing my artistic skills and built up a strong portfolio of work. During this time I spent a huge amount of time doing very detailed drawings from imagination. I had studied A-level Art so had a basic grounding in Art History, my influences around this time were the likes of Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, H. R. Giger, Dali, Leger and many others. Having built up a collection of drawings I needed a medium by which I could paint on the scale that I wanted. I toyed with spray-cans but was lent an airbrush and compressor. Taking to it quickly and naturally, I started work on my first large scale paintings. This was 1995.

In the summer of 1996, a friend, and well known graffiti artist, Chu set up a groundbreaking street art exhibition. It was an ambitious event and was planned alongside Ideal Skateboards 5th anniversary birthday bash. Fourteen of the finest graffiti artists from around the UK showed their work….and me my airbrushed paintings. The Custard factory fountain was drained and a mini ramp built in it. The best skaters from across the UK were invited to style their skills. Bands and DJ’s played on three different stages, the beer flowed, ladies danced and a great time was had by the 500 or so strong crowd who attended. There was huge interest in the artwork on display.

Over the following weekend the mini-festival continued. Live break dancing, DJ’s LTJ Bukem, Sneaker Pimps, New Flesh for Old, and other celebrated musicians played in the exhibition space. It was a lot of fun. The show did so much to bring Street Art and it’s culture to the wider audience it now commands.

On second weekend of the show I had a serious accident in the exhibition space. Some of the paintings were mounted on sheet steel. The pillar that they hung from needed moving and we didnt have time to take them down first. The wires holding one of them broke. It swung down guillotining my right arm above the wrist. Nearly removing the hand. It left me needing long hrs of micro surgery to put nerve’s, arteries, tendons and muscle back together. Whilst in Hospital Uri Geller rang me. Uri had chanced on the exhibition and was interested in buying all 6 of my large paintings. My joy was over shadowed by the very real possibility that I might never paint again. Never the less Uri was still interested and vowed to help me with my recovery. I luckily made a remarkable recovery and within a year had full strength and movement back in the arm. Uri acted as my agent for the next two years, securing commissions, introducing me to many influential people and setting up shows in the UK and New York. It was a fruitful period of artistic development, and an exciting time.

In 1997 I traveled to India to search for inspiration. I remember walking out of Delhi airport at 3 in the morning to a throbbing mass of humanity and wondering just what the hell I was doing here. I acclimatised to the chaos and spent the next 4 months travelling through Northern India and Nepal having adventures that have influenced me to this day. I became interested in Buddhism and Yoga, spending time at the temples in Kathmandu and ashrams of Rishikesh. The vibrant sensual assault of the markets, temples and bazaar’s, the crazy, erotic colour of the Hindu temple art, the metaphysical mandala’s and thanka’s of the buddhists are all indelibly imprinted upon my memory and have served as a well of inspiration for my art and life.

Over the years I have built up a solid base of art collectors who love my varied approach to creating artwork. I have been commissioned to work on a variety of different creative projects from Cable car murals in the French Alps to Jeans for Levi’s, and countless large scale murals projects. I love art in all its many forms and I love creating artwork. Though the process can require more patience than I often have. There is nothing like the state of mind that comes about when focussed fully upon bringing into life something that has not been seen before. It takes every attention, skill and humility. It’s a spiritual experience of sorts, I’m sure of it.

I now live near the North Devon coastal village of Croyde. And spend most of my time surfing, painting, and spending time in nature. What I paint and how I paint it are in constant evolution and are inextricably linked to the environment in which I now live and the experiences that make up my life.

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Testimonial

Conor creates a fabulous depth and emotion in his work. Whatever and wherever he paints he brings it to life with his diverse painting styles. A friendly and wonderfully talented artist. We are delighted that we are able to enjoy Conor’s fabulous works in our home…
Debs Hayes