Much of my earlier work has been based on the landscape, and particularly mans' marks on the landscape. I have long thought that I needed a subject, a landscape, whatever, as a starting point on which to base my abstract work - recent themes have included Dartmoor, my home territory, migration in its widest sense, and friendship, memories and loss.
I have now begun a fresh approach, relying on colour, form, gestural marks, and instinct to let a painting evolve. The recent paintings such as ' Something set in stone ', and ' Cribba 2 ', shown here, are the first in what I hope will become a significant shift, relying on memory, intuition, and patience - patience to start again every day, continually overpainting and waiting for something exciting to emerge.
Back home in Chagford and now reflecting on the six weeks I spent this spring in the Shetlands. The intention was to spend time, on my own, in these remote islands, trying to find a way of painting how it felt to be there in a very different landscape. For the first few weeks the weather was challenging - bitter winds, lashing rain and hail storms, sometimes depressing, sometimes exciting, especially the spectacular seas crashing against black cliffs. Initially I was lonely - 'why am I here?' - but this changed.
A chance meeting led me to get to know three artists living and working in the Shetlands, I went along to various music evenings, including the annual folk festival, did a lot of walking, some with visiting friends, and rented a small studio space to paint.
The two paintings shown here reflect my first reaction to being in that landscape, but it was my meetings and discussions with the abstract painter Gail Harvey that turned out to be the catalyst for where I think my work will now go. Gail works with a considered freedom, a committed honesty, and gives her paintings all the time they need to evolve ; I have come back resolved to try and do the same. For that reason, going to the Shetlands has been a success, and I am looking forward to putting together a body of new work - this will take as long as it takes.
"Truth is something made, not found"
GALLERIES where my work is represented
The Collectors Gallery, Carmel, California
Brook Gallery, Devon - www.brookgallery.co.uk
Brook Contemporary - www.brookcontemporaryart.co.uk
Marine House at Beer, Devon
Click on the small images to the left to see a large image and details.