The works on canvas are made in the studio always using acrylic and I also work directly from the landscape with a variety of mixed media on smaller works on paper. My paintings are begun in a loose, exploratory way using a freely drawn series of calligraphic marks, stains and shapes using a wide variety of brushes, hand, roller, scraper, sponge, etc. They are inspired by particular landscape places or events using drawings, photographs and memory of these places which are always special to me. Although spending a lot of time in Devon and the south coast I am equally inspired by local rivers and parklands close to my Ealing home. I am not so interested in the topographical exotic picture postcard view but in getting close to nature where the ordinary is extraordinary. A small part of a stream and its river bank crowded with vegetation, texture, light and colour is enough for me.
The final image is slowly extracted in a playful, organic way using overlaid marks and glazes to express qualities of nature such as mood, light, colour, atmosphere, space etc. Acrylic allows me the rich diverse qualities of paint that I need. I mix my own colours from pigments allowing me to control the transparency and intensity of the colour. I am attempting to find equivalents for the landscape in the physical qualities of paint. I want the paintings to be intriguing, tantalising and ambiguous held between the plastic qualities of the paint and all the magical illusions and evocations of the depiction of nature. The smaller works on paper are always made outside in front of the landscape and often then worked on in the studio. I work with a variety of tools and brushes outside as well as inside. I carry a large bag of rollers, sponges, scrapers, a multitude of brushes as well as lots of different media. In the studio the paintings are always started stretched on the floor so I can allow the paint to flow, spread and run into the forms of the landscape. The paint at this stage is often quite fluid and transparent. This first stage can take around an hour or so of intense activity whereas the next stages of the paintings can often take several weeks or months. After being begun on the floor the painting is then stretched onto a stretcher and painted from then on the wall. There follows a dialogue between myself , the paint, and the landscape. I try to let the paint become the landscape, rather than filling the paint into landscape shapes, in order to express a feeling of change and movement in nature.