Land & Water Painting
Much of my formative life was spent in an urban setting surrounded by buildings and bustling traffic In fact my early work was about dilapidated buildings and the industrial landscapes of mining and steelworks. However as a child I was fortunate enough to live near an enormous park; Richmond Park and the river Thames. Exploring those two locations gave me the love of the countryside that I enjoy today. Life can be a lot about contrasts and the contrast between land and water is a subject that has retained my fascination for years.
In South Devon where I live it rains a lot and the voyage that this rain takes when it hits the ground is a source of endless fascination for me. Close to us in the bleak hills and moors of Dartmoor the rain gathers in puddles and rills forming brooks and streams that gather together to form the source of the fabulous River Dart. Painting and drawing on Dartmoor exposes one to all manner of experiences howling winds, slanting rain, gushing torrents, moody and sometimes terrifying mists and glorious sunshine rising and setting. Dartmoor teaches you about atmosphere and how to express it. The River Dart meanders through some of the most beautiful countryside in England if not the world. It’s route takes it through wooded hills and valleys that are magnificently reflected in its sometime calm waters. Believe me it is a painters paradise. When finally it reaches Dartmouth and the hustle and bustle of a port it holds its breath before breaking out in a glorious burst to the sea; next stop America!
Sea painting is for me invariably an exercise in contemplation. The way it embraces the land, either in a tranquil embrace, or with resounding fury as if wanting to punish humankind for damaging the environment. It is at sea one is aware of the fundamental effects of weather patterns. As the water evaporates into the sky providing clouds some of the most awesome abstract paintings are produced which together with wave systems provide effects that reach into the very core of being.