My work invariably begins with a specific experience. A landscape visited and walked across, a place where there is a strong emotional attraction perhaps, this will generate works. Recently I have been attracted to the structure of a landscape, by field patterns, and by the way we have organised the countryside . These, seen and deeply sensed experiences ,will jump start a lengthy creative process, which is emotional, physical and intellectual. My paintings are not topographical accounts of places, they are rather, images which are painted and recollected in the tranquility of my studio.
Like Bonnard I cannot paint directly in front of a landscape, it is impossible. I initially make small drawings of the place I want to paint and then much later, when I am away from the place, my mind can filter out information which is of no use to me. I love handling paint, and I paint from the heart usually in quick bursts of energy. I love oil paint and like the way it does things you don't want it to. When I am painting I employ a range of quite sophisticated strategies to try to achieve a visual cohesion and a balance between realism and abstraction,flatness and illusion. I enjoy leaving my decisions visible on the surface of each painting. I am ecstatic when something works, it is a magical thing and often isn't what you expected, and comes as a result of being open , natural and receptive to the making of the painting. When it works I wonder where it has come from, and it doesn't happen every dayShow more Show less