My paintings are inspired by the mountain, moor, and coastal landscapes of Pembrokeshire, Ireland, the South Downs, and Cornwall.
My approach to painting is to immerse myself in the landscape by looking, walking, and sketching in black and white. I also make notes in my sketchbook about the colours I see and the sounds I hear as I explore. I then seek to create a personal response to those places in which I am happiest back in the studio. Nothing in landscape ever looks the same twice and I often re-visit or re-work images and memories gathered from these favourite places. So, for me, painting landscapes is more than trying to depict a particular view or to capture something picturesque.
In the studio I develop a larger response to a particular place, my memory of the landscape transfigured by paint and imagination. Studio-based work arising from initial studies can take several months to complete. I like to wrestle with ideas, composition and paint, slowly revealing the elements that hold everything together. I seek to make an expressive interpretation using the complexity of forms, colour, light, surfaces and textures that I have seen, felt, remembered, or imagined, and which emerge in the act of painting.
Painting is pleasure, joy, energy, struggle, battle, doing and undoing.
These larger paintings are made using oil or acrylic on board or paper. I might also develop mixed media images, including collage, building up layer upon layer. Sometimes after working for a whole day on a painting, I will remove or paint over everything I’ve done and start again. Sometimes this destruction leads to other, better possibilities and so the painting moves on. Sometimes after months of struggle, a painting seems beyond resolution and will be left for another time. Occasionally, a painting will develop smoothly and easily, staying true to the original idea and be quickly completed.