My art process...
Wild at Heart Studio in rural Lincolnshire is set in a wild garden. This is where I create my abstract oil paintings and can hold art workshops in summer. Paintings are everywhere in the timber cabin, from tiny oil studies on paper to larger canvases hanging on the walls.
For several years I worked with pure oils, then in 2015 I added cold wax to my oil palette which transformed the way I made my work. The oils and wax are smooth and luscious and when they are sculpted with knives, rollers and scrapers, wonderful effects happen. Adding layers and then destroying parts by scraping back reveals the underneath, rather like archeology and the painting begins to have a history. Some pieces have many layers and glazes.
The painting emerges from making intuitive geometric and organic shapes. One shape can inspire the forming of another. Colour is influenced by what goes next to it. I find a mix of grey can be a gentle companion to a brighter hue.
My paintings have a narrative in an abstract sense. I like to suggest rather than depict a reality.
The work evolves over days, weeks or even years as I will often return to a piece to rework it. The process of destruction is part of making something new and creating a painting journey. I am not afraid to add my feelings to the canvas and some work has a dark side.
The beauty of abstraction is letting a viewer into a world of imagination.
CREATING A NEW SERIES...
My wild garden is a source of inspiration. The farm buildings are now weathered with age which have a beauty of their own. Mosses and tangled grasses add texture and colour. These are some of the things which can surface in my work.
In this series I am exploring the process of creating and destroying with an interest in mark making. There may be some sense of geometric abstraction or atmospheric natural surroundings but I want to keep an element of mystery.
I am aiming for rich evocative surfaces made by layers of oils and wax which bring a glow and depth to the painting. Some pieces are excavated in parts with scraping tools to reveal the under painting, then finished with glazes of transparent paint.
Some paintings are definitely mysterious...less about nature and more about human feelings.
'Aftermath'... no need to untangle, or sort into sense. Beauty lies in acceptance. This is a reworked 24x16 inch canvas from 2012. It moved away from being a clear cut narrative to a fluid organic and then on to a feeling of destruction. Parts are layered, some removed, scraped and scratched. After two days the whole surface seemed wrecked but it had a sense of calm after a violent storm.
The theme of contemplation is a new series I am preparing for a solo show of my work in September. These pieces will focus on thoughts and feelings.
'Inner voice' Oils and cold wax on 20 x 24 inch canvas
The light and shadow of experience.
Oils and cold wax medium on a 20 x 20 inch canvas.
Two all-over washes of Transparent orange oil and wax has transformed this painting into a blast of energy. The wash has subdued some background blues towards green and brought out the little fragments of cooling blue, sparkling under several layers of paint.
This painting reached the summit of its journey after several reworkings. Oils and cold wax medium on a 24 x 36 inch box canvas.