Discussing his appointment as an Official War Artist in 1973, the artist comments on his website, 'I served as a marine from 1953 to 1955 and kept a meticulous sketchbook filled with drawings of the daily life of soldiers. Based on this work, in 1973 I was appointed as the Official Artist of Britain'’s Imperial War Museum.
I lived with the regiment and went on patrol with them ... I was very popular with the regiments because of the way I work, being very figurative, expressing the life of the regiment, rather than making any sort of comment on what they were doing. I was making fairly dispassionate and objective depictions of the life of this order in Northern Ireland.
I think the most interesting bit is drawing rather than using cameras. Drawing is a way of seeing ... I didn'’t take photos. I just sat down and drew in some very hairy places. If you were drawing all the time, which I was, people could see what you were doing ... so if I sat drawing in the middle of Falls Road, the local Catholics would come up and see what I was doing, and there was nothing questionable about it. They knew I was with the army and where I was staying because the intelligence at that time was pretty good. But I never felt in danger. Whereas if you had a camera it would have been different'.