I have always found the natural environment a huge source of inspiration, whether it be a wild landscape or one that has been tamed to serve the needs of mankind. During my lifetime, I have seen enormous assaults on the natural world - particularly in the last 25 years - mainly due to over-population or crass planning. Mankind seems unable to heed the warnings about its future, as plants, insects and animal species die out, landscape and the seas become degraded and the climate gets more and more unpredictable. Our interdependence on other species is becoming just a pleasant memory. This has driven me to seek out a few of the remaining rich corners of our environment, where nature’s simple beauty still remains supreme, and to record them, using a variety of media.
I work in water colour, oils and mixed media. Brushes are not my automatic choice of tool, but take their place beside a palette knife, pieces of credit card, pointed instruments, pens, pipettes, crayons, pastel sticks, bits of cling film. I work on good quality watercolour paper, canvas board and canvases. The end result might look ‘traditional’, but I hope that you will look beyond that dismissive term and find something deeper. My subject matter is not just landscape. I get great pleasure from the interiors of buildings that have character: details in corners, decay, placement of furniture, colours. Portraiture is a great love - but challenging. My mother ‘guided’ my hand when I painted her; it came so easily!
I work from drawings I have made, regularly using a sketch book. I regard these scribbles/ drawings as a ‘library’ of images which I can refer to. Sometimes I use photographs as a back –up, when weather in inclement or time is pressing. Subjects can be anything that catches my eye, from the mundane domestic scene, to the majesty of a landscape.
Finally, as you look around, remember:
‘A work of art is a confidence murmured to gentle people’ (Nikos Engonopoulos Greek painter and poet)