For me, painting is all about capturing a moment in time, a snapshot - the distillation of a scene down to its core elements.
Perhaps unusually for a painter, from the initial spark of an idea I’ll write down words and come to a title before the accompanying forms take shape, setting a strong narrative from which to work. Then I’ll turn to my sketchbook and very carefully plan the layout and conjure up the characters, meaning that when the time comes to put paint to canvas the picture is already fully-fledged. The actual painting is the very final stage of the process; the fun part.
I only ever use three specific paint colours (and white) – a limited palette that allows me to concentrate on content and form rather than colour.
In all my work, I aim to strike a balance between the pensive and the silly, the serious and the absurd, injecting quirkiness and humour in careful measures. The resulting juxtapositions very much reflect my personality.
Keen on having a healthy work/life balance, I spend a lot of time on or in or by the sea, often returning to the studio inspired by something or someone I’ve seen while out on a fishing or kayaking trip. And, suitably refreshed, I’ll start the endlessly fulfilling process again.
Scattered throughout my studio in boxes and folders, drawers and bulging envelopes are hundreds of cut out figures: dogs, cats, boats, cars and an entire population of people, all in two dimensions. These characters and objects have all featured at some time in my paintings and are the most important part of my method or process of working.
When I started out as an artist I used to draw straight onto the canvas in soft pencil, and would work out the composition as I went. This resulted in a mess of lines and smudges which would leave me increasingly frustrated. Then, in a rare moment of clarity, I hit on the idea of working out the central characters and objects in my sketchbook before cutting them out to use as a template. This method enabled me to move the cut outs around the canvas, sometimes even using cellotape to fix them in place as I worked out the composition. And of course it kept my canvas pristine; no more grubby working out.
Strangely, when I think back to my childhood I realise I adopted just this method when I was playing; I would create a long backdrop of, for example, an underwater scene, with rocks and seaweed, and then painstakingly colour in and cut out as many different sea creatures as I could think of. These 2D characters would then be placed just so within the backdrop. Hours and hours of fun and not a computer in sight! So, what started as a game has become my working method, and I have come full circle.
exhibitions & shows
A Brush With Anglesey | Janet Bell Gallery | September 2016
One Man Show | Fowey River Gallery | June 2014
Summer Exhibition | Richard Hagen Gallery | June 2013
A Perfect Summer's Day | The Mulberry Tree Gallery | July 2012
One Man Show | Fowey River Gallery | April 2012
Around Britain's Coastline | Richard Hagen Gallery | June 2011
Halcyon Days | The Mulberry Tree Gallery| July 2010
Around Britain's Coastline | Richard Hagen Gallery | June 2010
Mixed Show | Janet Bell Gallery |April 2010
Summer Days | Emer Gallery | 2009
Simplicity (mixed show) | The Mulberry Tree Gallery | 2009
Around Britain’s Coastline | Richard Hagen Gallery | 2009
Two Man Show | Baxters Gallery | 2008
Art From Cornwall | New Grafton Gallery | 2006
One Man Show | Emer Gallery | 2006
Around Britain’s Coastline | Richard Hagen Gallery | 2006
One Man Show | Hagen Aria | 2005
One Man Show | Emer Gallery | 2004
One Man Show | Glass House Gallery | 2003
Sea Show | Thompson’s Gallery | 2001
One Man Show | Glass House Gallery | 2001
Women Artists | Hicks Gallery | 2000