artist's statement

Any artwork should grab the attention of the viewer, and reward at first glance. With longer exposure, it should fulfill it’s potential to convey the feelings and ideas of the artist – of whatever discipline - and provoke further thought.

Ideally that is…

My own work is representational, though not photorealistic, and relies heavily on reference material – drawn or photographed. My subject matter is not limited to specific genres, but I have been led to landscape through a fascination with clouds. Figures are a constant preoccupation; I often sketch passers-by from the window as a warm-up exercise.

I enjoy the technical business of painting, and work mainly in oil paint and watercolour. I tend to use watercolour to draw rapid, transient events from life - figures and skies - while the more complex easel work is done with oil paint, using a variety of oil mediums. Different oils, with varnish, have smoother or stickier paint qualities, and lend themselves to harder or softer marks. Stroking and blending the oily paint softens and rolls it, and I like the even surface that results. Whenever possible, I try to exploit the transparency and opacity of the pigments I'm using.

When composing, I frequently use photoshop for testing ideas - the initial elements of the work can be changed and adjusted more easily and accurately than with multiple separate evolutions on paper. A lot of my image sources are from photographs anyway, and I find some of my landscapes and skies on google streetview.

For some time now, I've been driven by one of the least original ideas in art – Et in Arcadia Ego - where the dark and painful exists within the light and beautiful. For me, these ideas had their genesis in watching the 1990s Yugoslav wars on TV; I found it hard to reconcile those ghastly events happening within such a beautiful setting.

Underlying all my future work will be the constant development of painting technique and drawing skills, and further development of my use of the human figure; it has a unique and infinite potential to induce emotional resonance.

January 2018