My work conveys my own exploration of nature, the connection I have with the world around me and how I view it from both a visual perspective and an emotional one. I find painting all encompassing - physically, mentally and emotionally - it satisfies all of me.
My work is mostly large in scale and requires big gestural movements and a certain amount of physicality to create. Mentally I am never more focused than when I am planning and creating a new work. I photograph my subject first, often combining different photo references to get a scene that excites me. I make detailed sketches and notes about light and reflections but once I start painting on the actual canvas, I do not sketch or plan. I find freedom in working unconfined by plans and details. I use an Impressionistic approach with Expressionist style brushmarks, and pure colour, often squeezed straight from the tube to the canvas – the use of a palette is sometimes a superfluous step to me. Painting for me is a building project, I start with very thin watery washes as the foundation and work my way up to very thick painted finishing touches. I enjoy the tactile quality of this contrast – from practically raw canvas to smeared on impasto. My pieces are made up of many many layers and I work hard to make the underlayers visible as this shows the building process and how the painting evolves over the course of its creation. For me it is an intuitive process only looking to the subject for accuracy of light source and certain compositional details. At some point through the process the painting takes on its own identity – away from the original source and I work with it and let it guide me – this is what I love most about creating a painting.
I want my work to take people on a journey of joy, intrigue, adventure and to feel a connection to the landscape. I believe that art heals and that through art we can communicate and express ourselves most fully – like music and poetry, an artwork can allow the viewer to feel so many different emotions and it is that which I hope to evoke from viewers – a truly emotionally healing response.
As a painter I am influenced by the modernist movement – all the work from Impressionism onwards has been influential to me, in particular Monet’s Waterlilies, the Post Impressionists and most of all the Fauves use of exaggerated colour and simplification of form – the latter being something that I am always aspiring to take further. The thinking behind Abstract Expressionism, the theory of Art for Art’s sake and Matisse’s evolution as an artist from very decorative and painterly work to simple paper cutout shapes, are all guiding me on this journey. I can feel myself heading towards abstraction as I evolve as an artist – my use of colour is becoming more exaggerated, my shapes are becoming more simplified and the actual brushmarks and pigments are becoming the main characters of the show. I have never been one for less is more but as I grow as an artist I am learning to unpack that which is no longer needed - unnecessary detail which does not add to the visual or emotional story behind the work.