Graeme was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) in 1960 to a tea planter family. After moving to Trinidad, in the West Indies for three years he settled in Kent where he’s lived ever since.
Gaining a place in to either Wimbledon or Byam Shaw School of Arts he decided to train part-time under Gertrude Franklin-White at the Samuel Palmer School of Art.
Painting since 1978 and deliberately not specializing in any particular subject, Graeme’s probably most well-known as an Aviation and more recently a War Artist although he would describe himself as a Landscape artist and in particular a ‘plein air’ painter. He can usually be seen throughout the year standing in a field somewhere in his beloved Kent countryside.
Graeme has painted all over Europe especially Switzerland as his love of mountains and wild places are his favourite overseas subjects. He has painted in Oman (Salalah), Wadi Rum in Jordan (TE Lawrence a personal hero), Nepal, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, India, Sri Lanka, the Far East and Australia and New Zealand where he lived (Sydney and Keri Keri) in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
After a chance meeting at Biggin Hill Air Show with AVM ‘Johnnie’ Johnson CB, CBE, DSO, DFC, the top scoring Allied fighter pilot during WWII, ‘Johnnie’ persuaded Graeme to take-up aviation art. In partnership with ‘Johnnie’ Graeme’s subsequent paintings and over 50 limited edition aviation prints, all individually signed by famous RAF and Luftwaffe aviators, took him all over Europe to meet these signatories.
In 2002, Graeme embarked on a project to paint 43 oil pictures along the 215 miles of the river Thames, resulting in a coffee-table hard-back book called An Artist on the Thames; the ’Foreword’ written by Lord Weatherill, former ‘Speaker’ to the House of Commons. Immediately afterwards he worked on another coffee-table book, this time of London which took over four years and 53 paintings to finish with many painted ‘plein air’.
In 2009 he exhibited at the world prestigious BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery, London. His well-known Everest print carrying the signatures of famous British mountaineers including a trip out to New Zealand to get Sir Ed Hillary to sign 200 copies. Graeme’s oils hang in institutions and private collections around the world including Oxford University and the Royal Military Hospital, Chelsea.
In 2010, at the invitation of the Royal Army Medical Corp, he went to Afghanistan to record work of the medical teams in the hospital at Camp Bastion. This has never been done before and nine months later a major exhibition of his work was held at the Royal Society of Medicine, Wimpole Street, London, with over a thousand people a day coming to see it. Graeme showed the Duchess of Wessex through each of the 84 works of art, telling a story of the journey each casualty takes from ‘point of wounding’ to repatriation home.
He was asked to be artist to Maj General Patrick Sanders 20 Armoured Brigade for their Herrick 15 winter 2011-12 tour. Brigadier Bob Bruce invited Graeme out again for the 4th Armoured Brigade 2012-13 tour and again in 2013 for 1Mechanized Brigade’s summer tour, commanded by Brigadier Rupert Jones. Graeme is the only artist invited to Afghanistan on each occasion working only for the Brigade Commander as the Brigade artist. His book ‘An Artist in Afghanistan’ was published in 2015 depicting paintings, photos, and sketches from his four trips to Helmand and Kandahar Provinces.
Graeme has had articles written about him in all the major national newspapers including the Sunday Telegraph, The Big Issue and the Independent. He appeared in the One Show with fellow war artists’ Dan Peterson and Matt Cook and has been on the BBC and Sky breakfast shows, Channel 5 and ITV news. Most recently he can be seen on the ITV documentary ‘War Art with Eddie Redmayne’.
With all military work behind him Graeme is now back painting landscapes, portraits, cityscapes and anything else that takes his fancy.