An artist's statement

I am aware that an “Artist’s Statement” is a requirement a times like this and naturally I would like to fulfil my obligation to society. However the dreadful truth is I am quite unable to write the sort of hyperbole that the average “proper” artist is prone to spout. So I am afraid you will have to put up with this.


I paint because I have to. For years I visited galleries and looked at books with a mounting sense of frustration. When, as now, I have been idle for some time I feel a sort of nagging itch that needs to be scratched. The process of starting a painting is usually very difficult for me especially if I am starting again after a long period of not creating.


I love words and love playing with words. Although my paintings are not puns or plays on words they will often deconstruct the image conjured up by a word or phrase.


I like strong, dark, slightly sinister colours that heighten the sense of mood and promote a dreamlike quality often at odds with the context of the picture.


I like playing with perspective and proportions that alter and distort the perception of the image and give the picture a playful quality. Even before I came to live by the coast I loved the sea and all the wonderful stories and legends that go with it. My images often contain maritime themes because I enjoy the challenge of painting the sea and its moods and because it is the most beautiful stage on which to play out the drama in the picture. Boats obviously figure hugely across my work, they give curvaceous beauty and make wonderful furniture for my cast of characters.


For me the process of making engravings and linocuts is radically different and is all about line, shadow and making of graphically strong pictures. It is also about using techniques which been used by other craftspeople for the last five or six hundred years.