I make art because it is a natural thing for me to do. To create pictures is to be involved in a strange, wonderful and mysterious activity and the act of image making deepens the sense of mystery and fascination we all experience in our lives. I have traveled widely and been inspired by many different places; the countries in which I have lived and worked are inevitably present in my work. They appear and reappear, even when my focus and attention seems to be elsewhere. In my painting, I don't attempt to describe a particular place or geographical location. I am more interested in personal experiences, the shapes, the colours and the textures that can be combined to create unexpected visual outcomes. I try to achieve a feeling of time passing, of change in the midst of permanence, and permanence in the midst of change. The visible world is only the outer layer that confronts our eyes. When we begin to talk about seeing and perception, we quickly realise that what we see, is only a part of the story, just the tip of the iceberg. We don’t just see what is directly in front of us, we see in relation to ourselves, our past, and our experiences. If my paintings have an uncertain quality then I may have made some progress; nothing in our world stays the same, nothing is fixed. This is where the real magic and power of art resides, in the alchemy of materials, memory, awareness and feeling. This is why painting is ultimately so rewarding. I hope you will find qualities in my painting that give you pleasure and enjoyment.

Statues in Milano, Italy
Statues in Milano, Italy

If you believe access to Art is an essential component of a life well-lived – assuming basic critical needs have been met – then you might decide to live in the Northern city of Milan. Architectural beauty exists on almost every street corner in the city centre of this commercial metropolis, and it is a visual and spiritual delight. When you also factor in the high probability of coming across sculptures of this quality, adorning a facade or the entrance to a doorway, you know you are in a place where life and art coexist and complement each other. It was E. M. Forster who said, ‘Only connect the prose and the passion and both will be exalted’. I think he was on to something.

Place des Terreaux 1st arrondissement of Lyon

The man who created the Statue of Liberty in New York also created this powerful sculpture in the centre of the city of Lyon. This is just one of the horses sculpted by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and is part of La Fontaine Bartholdi. I have photographed this fountain from every conceivable angle and there is always a new configuration of shapes to record. This shot is vignetted to draw attention to the overwhelming sense of drama and emovement.

Here is something a little out of the ordinary, definitely not my usual offering, but I thought I might share this with you. I created this video with my daughter, it was recorded two years ago on a handheld mobile phone; so all credit to her directorial and editing skills. I put down the audio track in the house because here in the Fenlands it is always windy and you wouldn’t have heard a single note. Did I hear someone say that would have been a wiser option? 🙂

For those who are interested, this is a Gretsch open back banjo, which I have now replaced with a Deering model. Recently, I have focused all of my energies on playing acoustic guitar and learning the Travis finger picking style. I have to say that the rhythmic style of frailing or clawhammer style banjo really helped with the finger picking. Sadly, I haven’t picked up the banjo for a year… the rest of the family are just quietly delighted.

Peter Corr Monochrome Photography
The St. JA, Purveyors of Fine W

They say that Dublin is the City of Literature and I have to agree. It may not be W.B, Yeats or Seamus Heaney but this once fine public house is an unsung wordsmith, conjuring a poetic language of its own as it self edits into oblivion. Will you be having a jar at the St. Ja? Tis the patron saint of jars and the finest purveyors of fine W’s this side of the River Liffey. And me Darlin, says I, I don’t mind if I do.

Landscape painting in mixed media materials
Landscape painting in mixed media materials

This is a mixed-media landscape painting on canvas. It is semi-abstract and expressionistic in terms of technique and style but there are elements of perspective and simple spatial devices employed in the work. It reflects my day-to-day experience of living in the understated yet dramatic Fenland landscape of East Cambridgeshire. The word ‘till’ is interchangeable with ‘until’ and I have tried to suggest both meanings in this piece. Working with the land is about understanding time and intervals of time, it is about the importance of rhythms of activity and inactivity, of waiting, of anticipating……until. It can also refer to a vault; a place to hold treasure.

The heavy texture of this painting combines gesso, sand, plaster, marble dust, bitumen and oil paint. The materials have a direct relationship to the physical qualities of the land and I feel this gets me closer to the reality of earth. I apply the materials with a variety of tools, scoring, carving and digging back through the surface with multiple layers. I often work outside the studio so that I am not constrained by the need to keep materials and paints in check. I enjoy working in the open air…. like walking through the landscape, it is a liberating experience.

Landscape painting in mixed media materials
Detail
Landscape painting in mixed media materials
Detail