Question: Is there a particular night sky memory or place that has most inspired your star-scapes?
Answer: Anywhere dark! Although I am a lover of light as it is my inspiration, I am keenly aware how light pollution needlessly reduces our everyday – or night experience of the wonders of the night skies. Having looked up for hours and hours at night in Iceland and Norway it still years later, leaves me with memories I want to paint… but standing on a cliff top in Dorset, looking out towards France, and allowing time for my eyes to adjust, reveals inspiration for me today and so the ‘blendingʼ of ideas continues…
Question: Describe your artistic style in one word.
Question: The landscape in Dorset has clearly influenced your practice and subject matter. Have other artists, such as Turner, influenced you in terms of their relationship with the horizon? Or has the natural landscape been more prominent in impacting your work?
Answer: I confess I havenʼt gone to the lengths of true artists – such as Turner, in tying myself to a ships mast in order to wholly experience his subject matter such as a storm at sea. But I do try to paint from the inside, and within – of nothing. By that I mean capturing the space between me and the horizon and removing myself from the process to allow space for the viewer to be there. Thatʼs the ‘immersiveʼ technique I use. Iʼve always been drawn to the natural landscape and itʼs underlying power, however now in my fifties I relish the quiet and calmness of my studio to do battles with my paintbrush rather than the physicality of immersing myself within my subject matter.
Question: You have said that your aim is to connect emotionally through your paintings with the viewer. When you paint do you hold in your mind a specific emotion or feeling you wish to convey? Or do you leave it more open as a reflective space for the viewer to pour into and connect?
Answer: Iʼm not aware of holding a specific emotion when I paint although when I come to title a painting I think a hint of what I wish to convey is revealed. Yes my art is a painterly mirror.
Question: Is there a particular space or gallery that is a dream to build an exhibition in?
Answer: I remember in the early 90ʼs visiting the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin (Museum of Contemporary Art) and being completely overwhelmed by the scale, size and light. Iʼm drawn to the work of Gerhard Richter, but never more so than seeing it exhibited in this space. I am continually disappointed when seeing his work exhibited elsewhere in ‘normalʼ gallery surroundings. So the answer would be a huge space with changing daylight (not necessarily quite the size of a railway station). This would have to be for the Daylight/Skyscapes paintings. Iʼd like to add a staircase too please! When seeing my large paintings hung in an atrium space I like the opportunity to see them from another level so the view point changes. For the Wonderment collection and starscapes Iʼd ask for Christies in London please! In particular – it takes courage to paint the walls a dark colour and spotlight the paintings, but the power and concentration this imbues the paintings with is breathtaking. Monumental. The proviso is that a buyer does NOT have to do this at home or wherever they want to hang their painting, an exhibition should not put obstacles between a painting and its owner. It can show possibilities and suggestions.
My alternative answer is that I have had already staged one dream exhibition, Lightyears at Paintworks 2009.