My work is mainly influenced by landscape. I work in acrylic and mixed media on canvas or gesso board, Hard edge lines intertwine with expressionist brushstrokes and accidental textures, illustrating my scientific interest in the order which tries to make sense of our complex natural environment.
I have always painted, since I was at primary school. I won a school art contest when I was 8 or 9 and found I had some talent. I went on to get a painting on Adrian Hill’s “Sketchbook” on TV, which further encouraged me (you have to be over a certain age to remember that!). Apart from a few days attending Hornsey Art College as a teenager (they focused on local youth to develop skills) I have never trained formally as an artist. I just taught myself on the job. I feel as though I am now just getting the hang of it.
My artistic life started with my dad (left) taking me to see Constable paintings in the National Gallery in London. Turner was too extreme for his liking. So when I started painting as a boy I naturally found myself drawn to the formal methods of the Renaissance painters (vanishing-point perspective, the golden section, chiarascuro, and so on ). As I grew up, though, I came across the Modernists. Pow! Picasso was still alive, together with a load of other big names in “modern” art. How could my own work not be influenced by them?
Jumping forward about 50 years I realise that although I have long been excited by painting in an expressionist way, I am becoming more and more drawn to the use of some level of order: grids. Along with this goes a degree of classification of subject or texture or colour, which I suspect stems from my contact with the photographic movement of typology, and my increasing fascination with seeing patterns in the “normal” rather than the shock of the exceptional. So less of the Wow! and more of the mmh.
My painting has changed in recent years while I worked with a group of other artists at the Newlyn School of Art. I use more textures these days, and try to let my subconscious out of its cage, whilst keeping it on enough of a leash to produce a painting that means something to others.
Just to confuse you, I also like painting representational portraits! Go figure.