• 'My work is primarily about the natural environment. I’ve always felt a strong emotional connection to the living world, so...

    'My work is primarily about the natural environment. I’ve always felt a strong emotional connection to the living world, so as subject matter, it’s my drug of choice’.


    Being self-taught, allows me total freedom. Having no formal training means I’m not even aware if I’m breaking rules – I just make it up as I go along, adapting my approach to the subject matter. I don’t think anyone else paints like me. That’s not to say I don’t study technique or look at the work of other artists – I do, and steal their ideas as all artists do, but of course it’s always entirely new by the time it comes out of my paintbrush. Recently I’ve been looking at Australian First People art - the rhythm and pattern used as a narrative means of expression and the direct connection of this to their knowledge and responsibility to country.


    I travel all over the UK to visit particular locations. All my works are based on actual places but through abstraction they become generic and hence can allow us to tap directly into the sensation of being in a certain habitat – lying down in a meadow, walking through woodland. My latest love affair is with the lush vegetation of temperate rainforest – we have remnants of this rare biome in the west of the UK. I get thoroughly preoccupied by these places; this is what drives me to paint. And I am driven. I do sometimes paint en plein air, but to make large pieces outdoors would require an expedition and, as they say, you can’t get the staff. Well, David Hockney can, I guess. Love all his work – his use of colour, his draughtsmanship. He’s 100% artist.


    There are strong abstract expressionist forces at play in my practice. My work is predicated on a love of the environment, but like all painting, essentially, it’s all about, as Frank Bowling said ‘what paint can do’. Like Bowling, I’m promiscuous in my mark making, allowing oil paint, along with a variety of other media, including fluorescent acrylics, viscous oils, gels and even gold leaf, to do their work – to drip, dribble, glimmer and glow.


    It took a while, but the way things have turned out, I find that the two things that mean more to me than anything else – art and the natural world – have come together in what I’m doing now. I believe art can help us reconnect with our environment giving us ways of looking at landscape so that we can better understand our place within it. My wish is to communicate the subject I love best – the natural world, using the medium I love best – paint.