“Good sense is the death of creativity” Picasso
When I arrived here in East Sussex from stunning West Dorset in August last year, I was relieved to find my surroundings equally beautiful; it was understandably a big concern of mine being a visual person. It turns out that the scenery was just the beginning: I have had an amazing reception here by you warm, friendly and dynamic people. One of the first people I met was Tim Bennians, “Mr Bombastic” when it comes down to knowledge of the Uckfield art world: apart from great frames, I have been pointed towards other Local artists, events I may join and even been given a bit of techy help!! Actually my new home is full of kind people, my studio in Lewes is above IEKO environments, generously cleared out, I now have a character filled doll’s house studio that has a north facing, low window, with a view of the bustling high street. How perfect is that?
“True to my love of paint” is the header for my website. My love of paint began when I was finally introduced to oil paints in all their velvety glory for A’level: I never looked back! Oil paint can be painted thinly like watercolours, or thickly in the style of Van Gough. Their versatility is boundless and the perfect medium for any form of expression. I love to explore with this limitless medium, and, (sorry to my art teacher from school, who truly taught me invaluable techniques): I am still experimenting on the canvas! The first time something is done it is perfection, the second time it is no longer original and rarely holds the same impact. The unequivocal quality of oils is in the mixing, like marbling, not only colours but those luxurious textures as well.
I once said that my work was ‘seasonal’, for want of a better word. Well my mind has played uncomfortably with that word ever since. But I was glad for that opportunity to have considered that aspect of my work. To a point my work is seasonal, but the weather is only partly responsible. On a summers day I can get out and sketch the pretty boats bobbing in the harbour and meditate on the journeys they have endured. Being out in the elements, I cannot help but absorb the energetic aspects of outdoor life: light and therefore colours are up to full volume, along with noise and mood. Whereas on a brooding winter’s day surrounded with the colours of a darkened sky and naked earth, people hurrying by with bowed heads and wearing colours to match the season, I am probably battened into my studio trying to stay warm, my work becomes introspective and usually that is when I create the more intensely narrative pieces: visually expressive of ideas and stories.
I have divided the more internal work into various categories: women, creative people, swimmers and the sea. Some of the narrative in these pieces is inspired by other people’s stories; others are ideas that contain a narrative in their own right. More often than not these days, the themes are less easily separable as my thinking on the individual subjects develop. There is a new category that has taken a few years incubation to finally surface: the game players: cards, chess. These pictures also combine aspects of the women theme with old allegorical narratives. They belong to the winter mode of painting. The swimmers and the boats now seem to belong to summer time optimism.
My work is figurative and the themes are simple to interpret. The idea being to bridge the mystery of our visual world and give contemporary painting a window: open to every audience.
Now I am finally starting to grow up and have to get my head into gear for my children’s future. I am considering what I was once told: that art, property and shares are all worth investing in as any one of them will be valuable at any given time. Apart from the fact that I love being surrounded by good pictures, I feel quite smug that I have actually thought about financing the future in such a pleasurable way! (Oh and, sorry Uncle, I still haven’t started saving for my pension!) But what is the quality that a brilliant picture has that a really good painting doesn’t? I have come to the conclusion that it is depth: a brilliant piece is raw, unabridged and uncompromised; it holds it’s own personality and you can almost see it breathing.
East Sussex has been a success story so far, with the warmth of the reception to the very suitable audience. My work has already been accepted by some of the copious and diverse art establishment available in the South East and is selling well. Yey! I was lucky enough to get a solo exhibition for the Brighton Fringe Festival, and a gallery in Weymouth to be hung for the duration of the sailing Olympics. I am delighted to be showing locally with the Uckfield Art Trail and Lewes Artwave, then onto Farley Farm House to hang my work in the next room to Picassos!