I think of all of my work as drawings. I love to draw and my motivation has always been my belief in drawing and the need to make a mark. I use paint as a tool, and in a way it is secondary to the act of drawing. I use paint to define space, to build up texture, to define the positive and the negative, to carve out or build up, to layer ideas, to push and pull the line, and most importantly to define silence and light.
I am inspired by negative space and the energy surrounding an object; and often see nature as a series of structures or patterns within a larger natural architecture. My eye is constantly tracing everything I see, wondering how it could be drawn, in black and white and beautiful grays with only the purest hint of color.
The nature of drawing… drawings on mylar
I have been wanting to get back to drawing in its random state, focusing less on the recognition and communication of an image and allowing the energy and spontaneity of process to become celebrated. When a line can hold its own energy field, weight and movement and in some instances can be liberated from any description. It is still an image of a tree, but a much different tree than would be with the layering evident in my other work.
These are quick glimpses of trees usually completed relatively in one sitting. The idea is to draw only that which inspires…a small glimpse of my environment that moves me. The bit that is gorgeous and beautiful and fleeting in its simplicity, and in its composition. It is also about working through a specific challenge or problem for the day, and needing to see results at the end of it. With these pieces I feel as though I am always starting from the beginning. The soul of these works lies very much in the manner in which they were created. I feel the drawings are honest, in that there is no layering or covering up of process. I have been unconsciously searching for a vehicle or a clean slate if you will, that shows the entire process and the smooth and transparent surface of the mylar allows for this to take place beautifully.
I have always nurtured the notion in my work that things are more interesting when viewed in the scale and context to which they are experienced in life, and to which they have inspired. When you walk past a tree and experience light coming through the branches, it is that part of the tree that moves and it is that part that gets recycled. These are unplanned, informal compositions one comes across quite unexpectedly, but they are experienced by me, and there is memory behind their encounter. Just like the best portrait of a person, it is the unexpected in-between moment that is the most telling and the same can be said of a tree. By isolating the small bit that inspires there is less to acknowledge and there is only one fleeting moment to be defined… the bit that is gorgeous and beautiful and fleeting in its simplicity, and in its composition.
I have always resisted using the word landscapes, as I never thought of myself as a landscape artist, yet it is the environment around which I live my daily life that is my continual inspiration. My relationship with the English landscape is very sensory, and one thing that is clear to me is that all of my landscapes are recordings or representations of experiences, and as I remember it being. The pieces are created over a long while, with the addition of many layers. The layering allows time and space to enter into a piece, with each layer usually completed at the end of a working day.