My work takes its inspiration from the natural world and in particular from the fields, woods and hedges near my home.
I paint in egg tempera, mixing the colours and applying them in many layers and glazes intermixed with intense passages of detailed pencil drawing, watercolour and pen and ink. It is a very personal technique – what I depict in my paintings is inextricably entwined with how it is depicted.
My work always evolves from loose, abstract beginnings in which I have no pre-conceived idea or composition, allowing myself to be guided by the resulting marks and images which begin to emerge. This is my ‘way in’ to a landscape, where process, materials and subject matter are all emergent and equally dependent on each other, rooted in impression rather than emulation. It is how I tap into a deep-rooted feeling for the landscape which is not only my own but comes from the generations of my family who have farmed and worked on the land.
In this way my paintings inevitably evolve very gradually. They usually combine periods spent working outdoors, sometimes for many months, even years, with equally long periods spent in my studio working from memory and imagination. The gradual emergence of an idea through layers of drawing is very important to the way I work and at some level reflects the pace at which nature, both past and present, unfolds. In that sense one might say I am a Romantic in that I find personal expression through the complexities and minutiae of nature with my central aim always to find the hidden pervading spirit of a place.
I am acutely aware of the changing nature of the land as it faces such immense pressures from urbanization and global climate change. But equally I am aware, and always in search of, its unchanging and persistent qualities.