I am attempting to provide a metaphor for an underlying deep sense of place, with my West Country background as inspiration. I often walk across the wild moors, through ancient country lanes or look down upon a dramatic coastline, where new ideas will evolve from these thought-provoking environments and supply the inspiration for my oil paintings. This in turn influences my reflective compositions of familiar scenes closer to home as I strive to cultivate an appreciation and sensitivity to our immediate surroundings, often overlooked. Mood and atmosphere are important elements of my work.
I admire the way the Australian Western Desert artists convey a feeling of belonging through a deep understanding of their environment. I envy the manner in which Rembrandt manipulated shades of dark and light to create the soulful 'chiaroscuro' effect, together with Hammershoi's haunting interiors. I am intrigued by Tacita Dean's ability to capture a sense of other-worldliness on film and enchanted by Max Richter's approach in creating musical space. Being able to 'Stand and Stare' as the poet W.H. Davies so eloquently proposes. Thoughts such as these are poured into the melting pot and whilst they are not always apparently obvious influences they definitely add to the spirit of my work.
I am continually drawing, painting and creating visual notes in my sketch books. Immersing myself in a scenario by becoming familiar with as many aspects of the subject as possible. For me, first-hand experience is essential, engaging with the 'now', whilst researching the subject from a wide variety of angles. My interests in literature, music and film help me to mull over and play with new ideas.
Through working with a variety of media, I have been drawn to oil paint. I can appreciate the range of tones, subtle colours and the paint's ability to be manipulated in so many different ways, where I can continue working with the same image for a long period. However, as with all artistic endeavours I fully expect my practice will experience many twists, turns and bumps in the road, and no doubt end up where I least expected.