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Tidal Surge

(Dovecote Space, Snape Maltings)

I have been making paintings and drawings as far back as I can remember. Like most young artists I experimented in numerous 'genres' gradually feeling my way to where I am most comfortable today, having rejected some, embraced others. I make no distinction in my approach to creating abstract marks and freely working with those, or adopting a more conceptual, ideas driven, approach if what I want to end up with, or want to say, demands this. In essence though, I mostly make reference to the seen world in my imagery.


  Over the years I have used travel as a vital trigger to refresh my imagination, bring me new colours, patterns, landscapes and mythologies to explore and exploit. As influences and experiences have expanded with time so has my arsenal of imagery, as I have accumulated, borrowed, stolen, imagined, dreamt, and unashamedly appropriated from cultures other than my own.


    Landscape in particular has given me much inspiration; from a curiosity about a specific geology, to what humans have done to and with the land. Landscape as metaphor for solitude, emotional turbulence, joy, nostalgia, sorrow and of course sometimes with luck, nailing a profound sense of place. I have been particularly attracted to the debris we humans leave behind in the shape of derelict mines, ships' skeletons, defunct buildings...quite apart from the standing stones, cave paintings and  petroglyphs that can be found on every continent.


    From a disparate and sometimes overwhelming bank of sources I try to extract something coherent that satisfies my need to create the 'small still voice' that order can bring and perhaps even elicit an aesthetic response or strike a chord of recognition in a fellow human being.

    I have dozens of sketchbooks full of thumbnail aide-memoire scribbles, ideas for future paintings, projects that will never happen, and drawings that have no purpose beyond my delight in the act of observing and drawing, with no immediate urgency to develop them further into 'finished' paintings but done....done just because....    

    I have spent my life doing the one thing I have never tired of: seeing the world through the prism of art whether in a historical academic context or as a practitioner in whatever medium has suited my purpose at the time; oil, pencil, watercolour, gouache, printmaking or a mix of all of these and more. The medium is there principally to serve the message. This is not to say that the particularly seductive qualities of oil paint for example - its buttery consistency, or of watercolour - its translucency, are not enjoyed and delighted in for themselves.

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