Given the opportunity I would spend every moment painting landscapes and seascapes in mixed media, my burning passion is to capture my feelings towards nature in my artwork. Light also plays a big part in my artwork, acting as a constant inspiration and helping to create a more inventive picture of the nature around me. Although I prefer to work on location, capturing the true emotion of a scene, I am often confined to my studio where I detach myself from the world to paint from photographs.
I am fortunate to live amongst the stunning back-drop of the Somerset countryside and having a second home by the sea in Cornwall provides endless additional inspiration. Over the years I've developed a special bond with Cornwall stretching back to my childhood when my parents bought a second home in North Cornwall. Now my family is fortunate enough to own that home and all our holidays with children are spent there too. The inspiration of Somerset and Cornwall are endless, and it seldom takes more than a few minutes to find a perfect subject to paint.
It's not only Cornwall and Somerset that offer inspiration. Britain may be full of civilised inhabitants but we need not look far to find wonderful treasures of wild woods, forests and incredible landscapes. Picture a lake, behind the calm water is a myriad of life unseen beneath the depths. In a woodland scene there is a mysterious presence a desire to explore what is on the ground and see what is happening overhead, understanding the importance of this natural vegetation. The nature around us is beautiful and amazing but sometimes uncontrollable and this can often affect my watercolour pieces which seem to have a life and movement of their own, especially when aided by the wind. Throughout every piece of my work I attempt to build-up an engagement with my surroundings, avoiding a controlled systematic approach and refusing to allow my paintings to appear rigid and cold. translating wild places with patterns and impressions of light and shade with colour vitality and inventiveness. I often feel compelled to paint with bright vibrant colours watercolours, acrylic inks, acrylic paints and oils onto textured surfaces.
As most artists will agree, painting can become a little chaotic. When painting on location I attempt to structure my chaos, ensuring all my materials are spread out so that I can work quickly staying ahead of the wind and the sun drying out the paints. When it is really hot and I am perched on a cliff top or sat on a rocky beach it can appear uncomfortable, although I tend to be too lost in my work to notice, which often results in forgetting my sun-cream and getting a bit sunburnt. Strong wind can cause my paintings to be spontaneous, chaotic and definitely unique. Many of the sharper-eyed owners of my artwork have noticed some of my coastal paintings contain sand. Frequently my work can be blown away across the beach and collect sand as it travels, however, I tend to allow the sand to remain as it creates a rustic/organic feeling to each piece.
I like to try to stretch myself with each painting, trying to take it to its limit which can be both challenging and intense. Continually I look to achieve something better and different. When using mixed media and bold mixing of materials my work is always so exciting as it develops. Even if I am painting the same subject over and over, I will experiment with different techniques and materials to keep the inventiveness and intrigue.
I like to break the rules of conforming to traditional painting, it is not about making it look exactly as we see it as a photographic image, but more developing a representation of colour with a sense of expression and style through painting, where every line or mark is an expression of what I see.