Geoff is best known as a distinguished painter and art professor. Born in England in 1947, Geoff showed early artistic talent and following two years at York school of Art he studied for four years at the Royal College of Art in London where he was awarded an Ma Rca. Here he was introduced to a new world of art and artists he had previously only seen in books - abstract expressionism and Pop art through the work of American artists Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Jim Dine.
He began making figurative paintings which explored themes of the family, and a sense of remembered place.
He was influenced by the literature of Kafka, Camus and Sartre, the beat poets Ginsberg and Kerouac and the painting of the School of London - Kossoff, Auerbach, and most notably the US painter R. B. Kitaj.
As an instructor he taught at both Sunderland and Durham Universities where he was leader of the Part-Time Fine Art course. Lecturing at BA and MA levels and PhD supervision. Geoff was awarded the academic title - 'Reader in Fine Art' from the University of Sunderland in recognition of a personal, research and exhibiting record and its significant academic contribution to teaching and the Institution Research Department.
In 1996 Geoff was invited to have a solo exhibition in Timisoara, Romania on the recommendation of leading Romanian sculptor Paul Neagu. This first exhibition visit, to an unknown country, resulted in meeting and forming relationships with Romanian artists, critics and the establishment of a lasting reciprocal exhibition programme and cultural exchange between the Academy of Fine Arts and the University of Sunderland. Socrates and Erasmus exchange scholarships. He returned to Timisoara as visiting professor in the Fine Art department and to exhibit his monoprints and etchings together with his wife Jenny's ceramics, 'Crossing Borders' - Galleria 28, 1998
Exhibitions during this period include representation in: Moscow, Russia, Chicago, USA, London, UK, Scotland, Canada, Australia, Romania, and a solo exhibition, 'Recurrent Consistencies' at the Seagate Gallery, Dundee, Scotland.
He was selected as one of the 5 regional artists to show in the season of painting exhibitions - 'Five Northern Painters' at the Myles Meehan Gallery, Darlington, Co. Durham.
This show titled 'Two Lands' included very large paintings featuring amorphous figures striding purposefully between real and imagined worlds.
Geoff visited California on behalf of Sunderland University with the intention of setting up a reciprocal student/staff exchange similar to the one in Romania. He fell in love with the area and decided that given the opportunity he would return to live and work.
In September 2003 Geoff and Jenny moved to la Selva Beach where they set up their home and studios.
They were invited to exhibit together at the Monterey Peninsular College Gallery in 2004 - a show titled 'Towards the Edge' and again in 2005 at the Nido Gallery titled 'Caught off Balance'.
A large solo show titled ‘Transitions’ at the Santa Cruz ICA gave Geoff the opportunity to exhibit some of the large paintings he had brought from England together with new works showing the influence of his new environment - a much lighter palette, less gestural mark making and a gentler more ordered approach bringing in images of new found treasures floating freely through dreamlike spaces which combined remembered childhood interiors with lush sunlit landscapes.
Geoff's method of working was to draw every day - a visual diary. He produced hundreds of drawings which cataloged his daily life and formed the basis for the etchings, monotypes and paintings which followed.
'Dialogues and Conversations' - a show at the Santa Cruz County Bank venues in Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley and Watsonville in 2006 demonstrated the ease with which Geoff was able to work across all these media presenting the viewer with images designed to trigger their own questions regarding anxiety, and risk taking when making the next move - in Life and Art.
Geoff continued teaching in the USA, giving illustrated talks, lectures and printmaking workshops at the University of Santa Cruz, University of Monterey Bay and Monterey Peninsular College. He and Jenny were also regular participants in the Santa Cruz County's Open Studios in October.
Living in California gave Geoff the opportunity and freedom to explore new avenues of creativity - he began writing poetry, publishing a volume 'Dialogues and Conversations' to accompany his 2006 exhibition at the SCCB Arts Collaborative.
A second collection of poems and accompanying drawings titled ‘From the Small Hours' is ready for publication.
He was invited to take part in a reading at the SCICA and performed in Harold Pinter’s - ‘Victoria Station' directed by Greg Paroff.
This led to more acting parts which he relished - a bell boy and waiter in Cabrillo 8's, and the professor in Anton Chekhov's - 'Uncle Vanya' at the Mountain Community Theater.
Geoff was a keen water sportsman. From an early age he sailed and took up water skiing with his cousins in North Yorkshire. A passion for windsurfing developed, braving the cold waters of the North Sea and the Lake District.
His son Matt followed the family tradition learning to windsurf in Tenerife when he was 12 years old. However, Matt preferred surfing and Geoff quickly followed - although never having as much time for the sport as he would have liked after arriving in California.
Geoff was a guitar player and found time to play everyday - he loved American Blues artists first heard at school in 1962 -Mississippi John Hurt and Robert Johnson to name a few. He admired folk singers and guitarists Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan and later artist/songwriters, John Prine, Guy Clark and Neil Young.