Running and painting surprisingly have much in common, the main similarity being that they are both totally engrossing activities. Both are an integral part of my life where withdrawal symptoms occur if stopped for any length of time. They both allow me to lose myself in the struggle and sheer pleasure of the activity and forget any other pressing problems.
The two activities come together in another way for me as my usual running route is by the wooded waterside along my local canal and much of my painting at the moment is inspired by rivers and woodland. Running allows one to be absorbed by the landscape as it passes by rather than seeing it cut out as in a picture postcard.
There are fleeting glimpses and images passing by. It is constantly changing and moving and this is the feeling I try to express in my paintings. I try to find in the complex and seductive properties of paint equivalents for the ever changing, shifting and transient beauty of the landscape.
My regular run is around five miles so the character of the canal-side is frequently changing but always with the reflecting, moving and busy water at my side. One aspect of running that differs from painting though is the inevitable slowing down with age as race times rapidly deteriorate and injuries take ages to heal, whereas one hopes that the painting mellows and improves with the passing years. I am now the wrong side of 60 for running but perhaps the right side for painting!
PS: The paintings illustrated above are to be exhibited at the Crypt Gallery in St Ives with the National Acrylic Painters Association in November. David is an invited artist at the London Group’s One Hundred Plus Draw and his paintings have also been selected for the Discerning Eye exhibition.