I begin my artwork on a board which gives me the opportunity to mis-shapen it if I wish. For larger pieces I will use canvas. Then when I start to layer up the textures I become completely absorbed in overlapping torn pieces of paper and fragments of card, pulling apart and adding skrim, then using pastes, cotton, wire, string and even nails at times to make each piece work. I love getting lost in the texturing process, aiming to create an intriguing surface full of feeling, movement and an evocative of an emotional experience through how the materials fall on the board, both intentionally and through happy accidents. At some point I might then rip off certain textures which can add further depths, cracks and crevasses and add to the expression of the piece. True life news clippings or accounts of lives from parish records from the 19th century might then be woven in amidst the layers.
I like portraying old, weather worn, isolated and derelict cottages, farms or outbuildings with dramatic skies using the materials to capture the scene. My aim is to put into my art the deep experience we have when we are absorbed by something so moving and captivating - a something we cannot put into words as they do not justice to the experience we are having. Overall my intention is to put into my pieces, feelings we have when we see beauty in nature or in history, a roof that has it's rafters exposed, a building that has part collapsed, crumbling plaster and the traces of peeling paint on an old wall from decades before, skies to get lost in, waves crashing on the shore or trees gripping our attention as they blow in the wind.
I'm inclined towards a mix of media, usually starting with acrylics, then sometimes inks or vibrant water colour before bringing the piece together by working oils into the relief, which creates depths and ages my artwork. Layers of pigment are then wiped away, revealing the image underneath. I use a limited palette when it comes to colour, very often inclined towards blues. I like to experiment with the effects that wire, scraping, wiping and sanding can have on the mood of a piece often using my hands, rags or spatulas.
With my earlier figurative work I enjoyed capturing the body as if it were a landscape. Then I began to experiment with deeper textures and thus began my run down harbour scenes and seascapes, which evolved into old mills and factories. Of late, I find myself drawn to isolated cottages and farmsteads, a slight return to my earlier, less deeply textured pieces.
My artwork has been displayed in many galleries around the UK over the last decade, but at present will be found around the south west of England, at the Steam Gallery, in Beer in Devon or the Gallery on the Square in Poundbury in Dorset. Every two years, I open my studio to the public, during the Dorset Art Weeks, which are held at the end of May, the next one being May/June 2018. My work can also be found at the Affordable Art Fairs, Bristol, Battersea and Hampstead each year.