This is a large oil painting on a 122cm x 92cm professional quality canvas. It is semi abstract and expressionistic in terms of technique and style. It is however, based on nature and the abundant growth seen in the hedgerows of the fenlands of East Anglia. Trees, brambles and woody shrubs such as hawthorn, blackthorn and field maple make up a mature hedgerow. The material and paint is applied with a variety of tools including brushes and palette knives. The surface is built up in heavy impasto layers and translucent glazes over a period of time. I have been influenced by the contemporary artists Anselm Kiefer and Gerhardt Richter.
…..And what you thought you came for Is only a shell, a husk of meaning From which the purpose breaks only when it is fulfilled If at all. Either you had no purpose Or the purpose is beyond the end you figured And is altered in fulfilment. There are other places Which also are the world’s end, some at the sea jaws, Or over a dark lake, in a desert or a city— But this is the nearest, in place and time, Now and in England.
I have always been fascinated by Fairgrounds and Fairground artwork and, let me say quite clearly, it is art. The life and energy conveyed by the fabulous array of lettering and graphics is quite simply stunning. These photographs were taken recently at Thurston’s Fun Fair at Saffron Walden held on the Common in the centre of town. I have done very little post processing because I didn’t need to, the images are great because of the extraordinary talents of the ‘sign-writers’ or digital designers… and not because of any tweaking I may have done. They remind me so much of the 1960’s hyper realist art movement and painters such as Ralph Goings and Richard Estes with their images of everyday life in America including hamburgers, cars, street signs, shop fronts and window displays. In a sense I have simply been recycling these techniques and given them a slight painterly quality…thus closing, or maybe continuing the circular relationship between photography and painting.
This is a painting about music, rhythm and the rich aural textures and the timbre of sound. The chords and colours of the painting reflect my interest in the acoustic guitar, its tonal range and versatility. The curved and straight lines found in the shape and structure of the instrument are used to provide contrast and compositional harmony. Elements of Cubism are evident in the multi-faceted viewpoints and the intersection of foreground and background spaces.
This painting is part of the geometric tradition of abstraction and is reminiscent of the ‘hard edge’ American abstract painters of the 50’s and 60’s. The colour is applied with a glazing and staining method using successive layers and washes, enhancing both depth and luminosity. Spatial qualities are carefully controlled with certain vertical columns alternately advancing and receding. The addition of iridescent gold paint contrasts directly with the blues, reds and purples of the surrounding space. In different lighting conditions, the metallic and reflective surfaces radiate light.
Working with acrylic is a very different experience from oils. Somehow, the colours are more saturated and intense. This piece is at a critical stage…I haven’t decided yet whether it is finished. We will see.
My painting ‘Half Moon’, currently on exhibition at the Babylon Gallery in Ely has just been bought by a collector. This is a highly textured mixed media painting using cold wax, oil, bitumen and a wide assortment of mark making tools. The exhibition is open until 6th September and I hope you will get a chance to visit if you are in the area. My daughter, Louisa also has a painting in the Summer Open exhibition called ‘Modern Times’.