From Life, Memory and Imagination

Stepper Point Camel River Padstow

My latest body of work inspired by Cornwall is made up of many layers. In the land of mists and megaliths, traditions and superstitions I’m always excited to bring something more to my landscapes.

I’m not very good at painting outside ‘plein air’ – I always end up with too many flies on my canvas! So I am heavily reliant on my camera and a library of photographs that I collect on every walk.

When I look at my photos I remember the day I took them; what I was doing, who I was with and how I felt. When I use a photograph as a basis for a painting I also use my memory of the experience of being in the landscape to help to bring it to life.

I’m also not fussy with regards to my camera tool – I know the highest resolution photos are taken with my DSLR – but if I’m just out and about I find the flexibility of my compact camera just as good for capturing inspiration. I also enjoy capturing panoramic scenes with my mobile phone which allows me to get more in my image.

While I love my camera I also appreciate it’s technical limitations. It doesn’t capture the full dynamic range of a high contrast scene such as a sunset. On top of that you have the other senses which provide information such as temperature, sounds, smells, knowing how it feels to be able to be in and touch the landscape.

From life and memory; using both of these tools I already have a powerful foundation for some amazing art. However, for me it doesn’t stop there. I enjoy using my imagination to take my art to the next level.

I go through a process of composing and decomposing, with permission to paint a simplified and yet deepened version of reality. Often subject to the wanderings of imagination, which can lead you down unexpected paths – mixing the familiar and the unknown.

I try to use colour and contrast to catch the eye like it would in real life; to describe emotions and movement. To transform elements of the landscape to evoke it’s magical quality – to invite the sensation of being in the landscape rather than viewing it and convey a sense of an intensely real encounter.

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