Spike Bucklow has always enjoyed painting but has never been a painter. He has been a steel-worker in Australia, a farm-labourer in Sweden and has quarried potato-stones in Somerset. He has also synthesised pheromones for cockroaches, made special effects for films and been a technical management consultant. Along the way, he picked-up a degree in Chemistry, a diploma in Artificial Intelligence, a masters in Painting Conservation and a doctorate in Art History. All of which has coloured The Alchemy of Paint.

detail of Missal, MS34 fol.138r, reproduced with the permission of the Syndics of the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge