As an artist I want to capture your interest within seconds. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words; I like to talk to my readers in a glance. And perhaps, in that glance, a piece of art can move you in an inexplicable way; it can suggest, evoke and enthral. Perhaps art can’t change or save the world, but I believe it can help to change or save the individual. It certainly did for me.
There is nothing like the instant gratification of viewing the photo you just took. However while the technology may be instant, the skill in becoming a photographer takes patience and practice. I rely heavily on my photography skills in order to build up a library of images that I can refer to for my paintings. While I get inspiration by being out in the countryside, my memory is imperfect – so my personal inspiration library is a combination of feelings, emotions and experiences captured in my head, and photos captured on my camera. Between the two I can get the sense and the detail.
I wish I could show you a step-by-step process of how I do something, but it genuinely changes quite a lot for me. I relish experimenting. Sometimes I’ll discover something that has worked really well and then have to try to remember exactly how I did it so I can do it again! Of course I do also have certain approaches to certain subjects, but I do try to regularly challenge myself to try a new approach. I think that’s what keeps me excited and coming back for more!
I’ve recently moved to Cornwall and I’m excited to be near the beach, breathe fresh sea air and take long coastal walks. To finally live where I choose to holiday every year. I specialise in Cornish landscapes and am never short of inspiration. One of the things I find fascinating living by the sea are the vast open skies; it’s something I really enjoy capturing on canvas and you’ll see in my later paintings that skies often feature quite prominently.
After many years working in London, I’m often engulfed by the frenzy of busyness as life rushes by me; I work for a media company in London where getting everything ready for yesterday is my daily diet. Art is one of the few things that helps me to take a minute, grab some fresh perspective and then remember that it’s ok to take some time for me.
After that I settled down to life and it wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I returned to art. A well-executed drawing is still key for me, but the right balance between technical and creative is most challenging, and most frustratingly, it cannot be taught! What’s a great painting and what’s just a mess?
In school I learned about line, form, light and shadow, I learned these skills carefully and aimed to recreate what I saw on the page. This was praised at first, then criticised. Students around me were being applauded for originality, intention and concept – more than skill and technique. Overall people thought I was good, but I distinctly got the impression that ‘good’ wasn’t really enough, and at the time I didn’t really understand why.