I am passionate about watercolour, with its fluidity and uncontrollable nature; finding how the medium can be used to express and convey a feeling for the moods and atmosphere of my local landscape - The Mendip Hills and Wetlands, near to my home in Somerset, are the inspiration for the vast majority of my work and painting outdoors most of the time allows me to connect to it as I strive to achieve a feeling for the sense of place. The marks I make are important – they all have to be pleasing to my eye. My aim is to create something which is not too contrived or deliberate while experimenting, learning and developing as a painter.
The majority of my work is painted on-site and being outside in all weathers, getting the information first hand is what the process is all about for me. It doesn’t matter whether the painting is good or bad, it either works or it doesn’t – everything is absorbed to be used again at a later stage. Trying to capture the mood and atmosphere of these places, working quickly and simply – it’s the relationship between me and the painting. After several weeks I look at this work with a ‘fresh eye’ and will occasionally refine and develop these paintings in the studio. Similarly I often use unsuccessful works as preliminary sketches for new studio based pieces. This, of course, is where I give even more thought to experimentation, or to work purely from memory.
My use of sketchbooks is quite varied, but always a treasured possession – numbered and ordered; they can take the form of a holiday ‘diary’, making marks when I’m the passenger in a car, drawings during a day walking in the landscape, or sketched paintings on location. I will also draw from photographs which I have taken when my time is limited, sometimes adding paint to these sketches from memory. All this reference material is gathered for the pleasure of mark making. I use it as a basis for studio work, as inspiration and reflection when work is not going well, or as a reminder to re-visit a place for work on-site.
1962 Born 6 March, St Agnes, Cornwall
2011 Elected a Member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours
Royal West of England Academy
Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours
Royal Watercolour Society
The Sadler Gallery
Somerset Art Works Open Studios
Somerset magazine – January 2011
The Artist – August 2008
Lifelines; The vital dry stone walls of the Mendip Hills AONB (2008)
50 Wessex Artists (2006)
Somerset magazine – October 2000
International Artist – January 2000