In 2018 I had another go at the Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year, and got into the quarter finals.. We had to paint Loch Fynne and the mist didn't lift for the first hour so the paintings changed dramatically during that time then it rained for most of the rest of the day.. It was still a good experience and although I was in the 3 finalists I didn't get through to the semi-final. I began to feel that my work was becoming too tight and I wanted to loosen up a bit during 2018 so later in the year I started to work with acrylic on watercolour paper. and these works are in the webpage "work on paper". Working very quickly and intuitively hey had an energy that was very rewarding. A friend called them "flash- fried feral paintings" which is a good description. Since then I've enjoyed a much looser approach to painting.
Work since February has been exploring the possibilities of geometric shapes and drawn lines, which make the surface of the painting an important dimension of the whole experience. As well as enjoying the interaction between the pictorial depth and the surface marks, we can see them as a foil to the rounder more natural structures of the rocks and landforms, or as framed snapshots of remembered experiences or changed viewpoints. Working in this zone has so many possiblities that I never tire of it!
This very recent work has resulted in being shortlisted for the Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year Competition. Looking forward to my screen debut on Oct 25th 2016!
I have become increasingly interested in the relationship between the physical and visual experience of space in landscape. Having begun to enjoy the more expressive qualities of looser brushwork and the evocative effects of drips and splashes, I find that the power, energy, wetness, and textures of the coast, which are all sensory experiences that don't rely on the visual experience, can be better expressed through different forms of mark making. My most recent work is in the page titled "Experiential Snapshots". These are small sketches in acrylic on board.
Walking along one of our favourite beaches in North Cornwall, I began to realise that this was the time to begin to paint these inspiring rock formations. The rocks themselves have the most beautiful patterns, textures and colours, and the sea's constant movement not only creates an energy that is overwhelming at times, but a constantly changing environment, where moving sands can transform the landscape overnight.
This is an on-going obssession, and the current work aims to celebrate the beauty of the rocks and, I hope, evokes a sense of humility in the presence of such strong elemental forces.
My recent work from late 2013 has been based on two themes which I am currently still exploring. Moving away from the figurative style of previous work I have begun to introduce much more texture and energetic mark making, which helps to express a more physical and emotional response to my subject, and aims to engage the viewer in this.
“As I walked out one mid-summer morning...” is a series of paintings which aims to capture the first fresh sensation of stepping out into a new day, with all the hope and anticipation that this can bring. Their only connection with Laurie Lee’s famous book is the title as these are inspired by all the seasons. Currently these are mainly a body of small to medium paintings which I aim to produce on a scale which will envelop the viewer in the experience.
“Deep in Dark Hedges” is a series of very textural and atmospheric works which explore the tangle and chaos that is in nature. Sometimes showing man’s attempts to control it, but chiefly they celebrate the beauty of the wilderness, allowing us to enjoy it from a safe distance.
I find the constantly changing moods on Dartmoor a strongly compelling subject, a true wilderness, sometimes tranquil, then dark and threatening, but whatever the time of year or weather, it is always beautiful.
Provence, the light! It's very tempting to overstate the colour but I'm aiming to create a feeling of light and heat in these and in many ways the colours are quite subtle, bleached and dry.