Well, after delivering some new work to The Rowley Gallery, I made it home in one go from Kensington back to the North East. Last time I got lost but kept coming back to the same place near Holland Park, three times! Try that with a Sat Nav! The drive home up the A1 was better than the outward journey and after some uninspiring, dour weather the sun came out later in the afternoon, bathing the landscape in golden winter light.
Now motorway driving is a chore, however one cannot help but enjoy those little corners of our homeland, especially when the sun begins to set and the shadows lengthen, a time photographers call the “magic hour” and besides, it helps ease the pain of a long and arduous journey.
So what has all this got to do with my paintings? Well, on the way home, there over Doncaster, in the distance to the north was a Gainsborough painting, with great towering snow clouds of ochre and pink resembling Holywells Park, Ipswich, a revelation on a grand scale. On another trip home last October, this time up the M1, almost opposite Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire, there is a hillside slope intersected by hedgerows and small oaks that delight the eye at any time of day. This is a landscape so reminiscent of Wales, and the paintings of the late Peter Prendergast, and their intense, bold and colourful representation of a living Welsh landscape. What is interesting is the experience of seeing such beautiful scenery and for myself it acts as a catalyst for more creativity. I digress!
So, back to my paintings. My work is of the familiar everyday places I visit, or pass by. For sketching I use chisel marker pens on paper; occasionally there is only a biro pen and a scrap of paper or mobile phone handy, or if I am lucky I have my camera with me to get something tangible to work from. Above is a photograph I made of one of those places when passing by. Now I will go back, become a little more familiar with it and eventually paint it. I use large brushes for my paintings, this brings about separate challenges whilst painting, often calling upon the sublime to represent something seen or remembered. This is quite a risky approach to painting and often work fails but when it does work I can be ecstatic with excitement. This is my work.