‘Halcyon Days’ is a simple painting. Objects have been reduced to their basic essentials and, possible distractions in the form of recognisable subject matter and identifiable objects, have been eliminated. But is this true? In my view, no matter how far you travel in terms of abstraction and simplification, something always remains. In this painting, references to the real world are plentiful. Formal divisions of the canvas into seemingly arbitrary bands can be readily viewed as spatial information; the division of the rectangle owes much to our mathematical and geometric constructions. The surface impasto refers directly to textures of earth and land. The deep black of the upper section hints at the night sky. Iridescent gold suggests the warmth and glow of a late evening sun. The materials gravel, pumice and bitumen are of the earth themselves. This is a landscape painting; it allows the viewer to discover their own thoughts and ideas about the nature of earth, rivers and sky.
‘Black River’ is part of my current Fenland series. The materials used in this work include bitumen, pumice stone and cold wax medium. In this work I continue to explore the contrasts between reflective and matt surfaces and how they interact with different light sources. The detailed images below should provide an indication of the underlying rhythmic qualities created by the subtle use of oil paint and cold wax impasto. The materials have been applied with a combination of brushes, palette knives and card.
Gilded Shore is an abstract painting in terms of technique, style and intention. It is based on the flat, open landscapes of the East Anglian Fenland. Semi transparent glazes give depth and luminosity as light is reflected through the layers of pigment. The variegated surface of the painting is achieved with thickly applied bitumen and cold wax medium. The lustrous quality or sheen is achieved through a combination of burnishing the wax surface and interleaved layers of metallic paint. A variety of tools and implements have been used to create incisions, marks and subtle textures that can be read as earth, sky, and water. The restricted reference to three dimensional space is designed to create a subtle counterpoint the pictorial flatness of the deep raw and burnt umbers.