Derek was trained at Blackpool School of Art and Manchester Regional College at Art, and subsequently was appointed Senior Lecturer in drawing and painting . Throughout this time he always painted and exhibited as he considered it to be vital for a teacher of Art, to be a practising artist.
Derek was later made Course Director in Diploma studies, responsible for running three courses and the delivery of the visual language programme. In 1992 he decided to take early retirement so that he could concentrate on his painting. In 1999 Derek was elected a member of the Academy.
Derek has exhibited at a wide variety of Municipal and commercial Galleries including The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and The John Moores Liverpool Exhibitions in 2010 , 2011 and 2012. In 2010 John Moores Liverpool Exhibition he was a prizewinner and his painting was purchased by The Walker Art gallery for their permanent collection . Derek’s work also belongs to many private collectors.
‘My paintings are the result of the analysis and observation of natural phenomena.The structures that I find are amalgamated and extended to create new forms.The paintings have dynamic surfaces, which appear to be in motion, due to the manipulation of spatial tensions and the ambiguities that this produces. Colours,shapes and forms float in the pictorial space whilst , adhering to the underlying structure.This is similar to the way in which an improvised melody in music can provide counterpoint to a chord sequence.’