This is a mixed media acrylic painting on canvas; one of a series of paintings to be shown at the Michaelhouse Centre in Cambridge at the ‘Cambridge Envisaged’ exhibition this November. I wanted to represent the city primarily through abstraction by using archetypal shapes, colours and textures that reflect aspects of the buildings and townscape. The composition plays alternately with illusionistic perspective and a flat ‘map like’ design, never quite allowing the eye to settle on a particular viewpoint or reading.
You may have seen this exhibited in my ‘Cambridge Envisaged’ exhibition this autumn in the center of Cambridge University.
Acrylic painting on canvas 100 x 100 cm
I am currently working on a series of paintings based on the city of Cambridge in the UK.
This is a multi layered mixed media acrylic painting on a high quality canvas frame. I am currently working on a series of paintings based on the city of Cambridge. I don’t believe that we can ever really know a particular place or location, not in a purely objective way, not even through the ‘impartiality’ of a camera lens. There are so many different ways of seeing, understanding and interpreting; our view of the world is a subjective, personal experience.
I have developed these paintings through a sort of conversational process, an exchange of ideas and thoughts; of talking and listening. What you see here is the result of many such conversations; a constant give and take between what I think I have to say as a painter and what the painting has to say to me. The painting often contradicts me and frequently suggests that I may be mistaken in my views. Out of consideration for my feelings it may abruptly suggest alternative ways of progressing. I sometimes delude myself into thinking I am directing the conversation but I know that this human activity of ‘painting’ is a joint construction, a combined effort. What you see here is a partnership between planning and accident, conceit and humility, confidence and deflation, wisdom and foolishness, a conversation between friends……we were just talking about the city…..I expect the conversation will continue.
Empire of The Sun
Acrylic on canvas
Size: 100 x 100 x 2cm
This is a multi layered acrylic painting on a high quality canvas frame. In this larger scale work I have been preoccupied with the rhythmic qualities of hand writing and calligraphy; I have tried to infuse the surface of the canvas with a sense of light and intensity. There is no over arching composition here; all of the myriad small brush-stokes and simple forms connect with and relate to each other. Below the radiating surface of indecipherable marks, there is a counterpoint of horizontal bands of tone and colour, echoing land and distant horizons.
Wacom Tablet Sketch 1
Up here among the gull cries
we stroll through a maze of pale
red-mottled relics, shells, claws
as if it were summer still.
That season has turned its back.
Through the green sea gardens stall
(from) Sylvia Plath
This painting developed from a desire to create a sense of movement across the surface of the canvas. The style is reminiscent of cubism and the image is built up from a network of short brush strokes and intersecting shards of light. The subject matter is concerned with the natural world, shoals of fish darting to and fro, fields of wild flowers alternately caught in the breeze, birds in flight amidst the clouds and sunlight.
This is an acrylic painting measuring 80 x 80 cm on canvas. It is based on the landscape of the Great Fen, thought to have once been covered by Whittlesea Mere. I have been exploring various acrylic mediums and application methods to create illusions of depth with the merest suggestion (please excuse the pun) of topographical details. The apparent speed of execution is just that….an apparition. There are upwards of 3, possibly 4 paintings buried in the decayed vegetation and peat bogs of earlier compositions.
If you are searching for the site of the Mere today you should not be looking for low-lying areas, as you might expect, but rather for very slightly higher ground. The reason for this strange phenomenon can be found by thinking about what happened to the land when it was drained.
The Great Level of the Fens is the largest region of fen in eastern England: including the lower drainage basins of the River Nene and the Great Ouse, it covers about 500 sq miles. It is also known as the Bedford Level, after Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford, who headed the so-called adventurers in the 17th-century drainage in this area; his son became the first governor of the Bedford Level Corporation. In the 17th century, the Great Level was divided into the North, Middle and South Levels for the purposes of administration and maintenance.
Please note that this painting uses iridescent paint and changes quite significantly depending on the angle of view. It is therefore quite difficult to convey the subtle shifts in tone, colour and luminance through the medium of photography.
The Ruling Class
This is a mixed-media landscape painting on a 60cm x 60cm deep edge canvas; it is semi abstract and minimalist in terms of technique and style. I have based the painting on my day to day experience of living in the determinedly understated Fenland landscape of East Cambridgeshire in England. The heavy texture of the painting combines gesso, sand, plaster and oil paint and is applied with a variety of tools and implements. The surface is built up in successive layers over a period of time….if you walked across it you would need to clean the mud off your shoes with a knife. You may detect the influence of the contemporary German artists Anselm Kiefer and Gerhardt Richter.
Croix Rousse, Lyon