I’m a Northern based artist working with paint and paper.
I find inspiration for my paintings in what I see and do and absorb. I find I am drawn to colour, shape and form, so when looking at a scene or an object for a subject matter I instantly breaking it down into these three elements. I apply this to my collage work also, deconstructing an image and rebuilding it, simplifying it so that colour especially oozes out from the image.
Initially my painting journey led me to paint landscapes. Having lived in the same farmhouse in rural North West England throughout my life, it seems natural to paint the surroundings in which I’ve been brought up.
I would see the rolling hills, valleys, mills and towering chimneys of the landscape coming together to form natural abstract shapes and linear lines. I’d use these naturally occurring patterns in my landscape paintings to create painting which ride a fine line between spontaneity, with gestural brushstrokes, and calculation and control.
Now living in manchester, the landscape has changed for me. It’s busier and with more movement and I try to reflect this in my painting. I find it has developed more figuratively, more illustratively focusing on narrative.
At times my work can be a combination of abstract and figuration with its use of colour and form, showing influences from the 20th century Fauvist painters. The use of colour goes hand in hand with how I handle the paint. It is lively, free and loose. Direct strokes of rich reds and cool blues and acid greens are at times tamed by bold uses of black and dark violet.
The works of Derain, Vlaminck, Roualt, Nolde and Matisse, as well British painters such as Bomberg and Sickert are strong influences of mine. More modern artists that I admire are Australian Artists John Bokor and Laura Jones, and American painter and collage artist Ken Kewley.
To create my paintings I use acrylic paints on canvas. Each brushstroke being an impulse or response created from the brushstroke that has gone before it. I paint my impressions of landscapes and still lifes, infusing them with vibrant and intense colour. The process is raw, organic. I try to avoid pondering over colour combinations or using meticulous processes; they can sometimes hinder creativity and make one more critical of one’s own work.
On many of the larger canvases there maybe marks or splashes that have happened accidentally but I see this as all part of the process and evidence of paint itself and I don’t try to hide them. I like to see paint as a substance, acknowledging its properties, and not just as a medium for translating my ideas on to paper. I think it gives the observer a sense and insight of the labour and excitement which have gone into the painting.