New Year Open 2020
18th January – 7th March
I treat every painting as an adventure. Some of these excursions end in failure but a few take me on exciting journey.
During these adventures I explore different techniques, push the boundaries of watercolour and experiment with other materials added to the paint.
I don’t set out to represent a subject. All the time I am interpreting my response in an inventive way that expresses how I feel.
One of the joys of working in watercolour is that it produces exciting and unpredictable results. The secret is to go with it and let it take you to the unknown.
I believe that within a painting there is a journey, this is explored through many guises. It can mean different things to different people, a journey can be built up of events ,places and people and characters we find on the way. It is through paintings I explore these expeditions, whether it is a story that I have heard that has directed my work, a character that has experienced feelings I have, or a landscape I have needed to share.
“No such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.” A great saying I heard many years ago and one that has changed my perspective of weather. We need the dark grey skies as a backdrop to majestic veils of sunlight, the overcast gloom and long shadows of winter to contrast with the wide open clear blue skies that bleach out the summer vistas. It is the contrast and variety of weather conditions and how light illuminates a landscape that excites me. No weather or day is boring, rather a challenge to identify its features and convey them via paint. A recent move to acrylics after years of oils has bought change in my work, as a new catalyst tool to apply the paint has replaced my brushes. The practice of using this is very reminiscent of my earlier work with mono screen printing, using a screen and squeegeeing but with no stencil, painting directly onto the screen in thin layers. Now I apply thin layers of paint directly onto paper, often adding a transparent medium, to build the narrative of colours and marks into the works.
My inspiration comes from a lifelong passion for colour, form and texture. I enjoy experimenting and have developed a technique using tissue and acrylics in order to create an exciting surface on which to work.
My work at present follows two main threads: landscape wool-paintings and experimental, abstract work that explores the possibilities of felt.
My landscape work involves trying to capture the effects of light as it moves across my field of view, and trying to explain the three-dimensional, organic form of the hills and mountains.
I live and work on the edge of the Shropshire Hills, where the effects of weather on the landscape are very apparent. Walking, sailing, cycling and fell running are my outdoor pastimes where an appreciation and understanding of the weather is vital. Contemporary landscape paintings should be about, not of, a place and time – the expressive reaction to landscape as well as a representation of it. Seeing and experiencing the effects of weather and light and their interaction with landforms are the inspiration to make dynamic landscape paintings. Paintings have been inspired by recent walking and sailing trips to Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire and the Western Isles of Scotland. The weather and climate can be harsh, and this has a profound effect on the landscape. The western coasts have the visual excitement of light, wind and weather on the sea and high mountains as a theme for the paintings. After living in Brittany and then the West Country for a number of years, I have returned to Shropshire and the Marches, where I have held a number of solo exhibitions over the last 20 years.
I am a self-taught artist specialising in wildlife and landscapes. My preferred mediums are watercolour and oil and I paint exclusively from my own photography, or sometimes plein air for landscapes. I live ‘out in the sticks’ but near to Shrewsbury, surrounded by inspiring scenes and terrific wildlife opportunities. I strive to recreate the character of wildlife and atmosphere in scenes I witness and record. I returned to painting very productively after a life-saving transplant. I enjoy the peace and quiet of our wildlife’s countryside. I paint to reflect on my good fortune and to share nature’s ‘gifts’.
Over the previous 4 months I have been working on a series of paintings of the Wem, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses in North Shropshire. These ancient areas were primarily used for the production of peat are abundant in wildlife. At no moment in time are the mosses the same. look away for a moment and the light and shade will change the tonal value of the view in seconds. Lots of photos and studio work have resulted in these oil on board images which I hope you will enjoy.
In recent years I have been exploring both 2D and 3D outcomes using a variety of materials and processes. Currently, I am exploring surface and what lies beneath, and I am influenced by both the urban and rural landscape. Marks both natural and man-made being a source of inspiration. I am also interested by the changing environment and the idea that history can never be totally erased.
Process is important, I use a variety of materials such as past work, words, poems, objects, found paper, waste materials, often sewn together to create seams and texture. These materials are collaged together and act as a ground a starting point.
Layers of plaster and other fillers are applied then sanded away in a process of creating and destroying. Inks and other wet media are applied between layers. Random and unexpected compositions then slowly reveal themselves, I look for connections, texture and shape that begin to appear on the surface that may develop into an abstract work.
CPRE Shropshire Landscape Photo competition 2019 Exhibition
My Shropshire landscape photo competition which was run to mark the
70th anniversary of the Campaign to Protect Rural England both nationally and at a county level.