“From town to country and the journey in between” is the title I feel describes my current landscape paintings. For some time I have been absorbed with roads and driving and how we “get there” wherever we are going but I am also deeply connected to coastline and field and utter stillness. And surprisingly to me since living in the country my ties with London have strengthened not weakened. My heart is happy in many places and finally all “my places” are talking to me in my paintings. I seek to be very much in touch with my surroundings and to respond to how my day feels; to convey the texture of that day.
In my portraits I am looking for that moment of lost awareness and private thought in y sitters though individual personality will dictate the style and sometimes the formal pose and gaze will convey more. Spending time together and getting to know my clients helps make the decision of the pose and enriches the final piece.
During 2014 I was Artist In Residence at The Earl Collector’s Garden, Arundel Castle and I recorded the changing year in my series of paintings from this time all painted en plein air. This was an exiting project and different from the main body of my work as it was so time dependent and intended to capture change rather than hold a constant.
Colour is variable and for me it carries weight and depth. Light is the essence of my day. And so these elements are at the core of my figurative work. I am the observer and the participant. I stand apart and I watch and look but the very act of standing at my easel means I am part of what I am painting too. The edges of being and looking are blurred as are the edges of light and dark in my work as is the time passing when I am absorbed. And being absorbed can often mean my “other” mind is elsewhere, observing something else in my mind’s eye perhaps. And so I am connecting with my inner and outer landscapes.
I work mainly in oil on canvas and I naturally like to vary my scale. Much of my work originates en plein air but I then refer to these studies and develop my themes in my garden studio in West Sussex.
Painting is the answer and the question.
In my landscape work I have been unpacking the process of where we are and where we might be going whether in our mind and imagination or in actual place and time. When we think of something often other free flowing thoughts jump in too and so we are in effect multi-tasking without even trying. When we are in one place we can often be drawn to memories of other places. I am celebrating our natural ability to absorb a range of thoughts, ideas and places and so I often layer images and mixed materials into a piece whether it be print making, drawing or painting.
In my portraiture I am seeking the unfocused moment; the private gaze in my sitters’ eye while in my Still Life collection I am charmed and fascinated by the ordinary daily things we have and use in our lives and by the connection with memory and history these humble objects can hold for us. Nothing is without worth or without a story.
My work is in private collections in UK, Balearics, Germany and France and has been shown often in group shows in and around London and Sussex. I have lived and worked in West Sussex for many years now but I travel happily with paint brush and easel as my companions.