If I wasn’t an artist I would have been a scientist. Discovery either by design or by chance is the thing that drives me. Experimentation in all mediums, particularly in acrylics keeps me interested and if I’m not interested I don’t work. I love to find new solutions to the age-old problems of form and design. I found that I could draw at the age of 14 and that was the beginning of a life time of discovery. When I draw with pencil I like to smear with an eraser to then build on the suggested distortions and tonalities. When I’m painting I often think of Picasso saying: “I begin with an idea then it becomes something else.” Although I may have used the same subject many times it is always with a different approach. I can’t stand repetition. For me each painting is an event in which the processes will lead me to an unpredicted end, whether that means in the atmosphere or in the more formal aspects of design.
I think with my eyes. The way the work is progressing will suggest the next move, although sometimes a painting will stop talking to me so I’ll put it aside, sometimes for years until one day I’ll see what needs to be done and the dialogue begins again. In fact, some of my work has taken me 20 or more years to complete and in some instances a completion has been enforced because someone buys the painting and takes it away from me. I have no compunction about reworking pieces even after they have been exhibited, if they tell me something else is needed and they still belong to me I will continue to develop them. It’s one of the beauties of acrylic paint and mediums that there are very few technical issues like there are with oil paint. Acrylics can be re-worked repeatedly until a resolution is found with no compromising of the longevity of the paint surface. I like to finish most of my pieces with oil paint because of the richness of the colours and the crispness of the texture but I hesitate at this stage because re-working oil paint brings with it issues of drying times and oil content and the variable requirements of specific colours.