Meet The Artist
In a busy working life I was given a short sabbatical and decided that, instead of a long journey to a distant part of the earth, I would start a different journey and re-kindle my love of painting – long sublimated into study and work. A first few Summer Schools, started things off, and then night school at Putney School of Art, and a period of study with the OCA have sustained my love of applying paint to canvas.
In the past, when travelling it was easier to take a photo, although I spent a lot of time staring at my photos in disappointment, wondering where what it was that I had wanted to capture had gone. Now back painting after a long gap these glimpses become the source of themes for paintings, and the sketches attempt to capture the atmosphere or the space in a way that eluded my ‘snaps’. I have travelled extensively and in two of my favourite countries – India and Spain – the contrast between photographic ambition and actuality is acute. No camera can capture the huge vistas and spaces that can make you gasp, nor the depth of the chasm – everything just looks pretty flat.
Learning to draw better was the key to greater interest for me, as my first efforts at taking up painting again were frustrating. Drawing makes me sit down and concentrate on how something works – the hexagons on a pineapple, the feathers on a birds wing, what’s driving what in an engine. The resulting images can send the imagination off on a creative track. On a new page the images can loosen up and re-arrange themselves and start off a new train of thought.
I love working with the drawing to develop a composition and then working out the colour palette to encourage a final image to emerge. The dilution or intensification of a colour can work wonderful changes to the original image which might vanish or emerge again in a different form With a working life based on attempts to control issues or manage within constraints to bring about a degree of success, it is very meaningful for me to encourage a painting to emerge to successful completion after a journey into unknown territory. For me it’s that journey into unknown territory which is the addictive aspect of painting.