Creating any form of art comes from the need to respond to the environment, both internal and external. In these moments the joy of life spills over into the need to create, so I paint. Colour is the chief source of my inspiration and this is fueled by the constantly changing light that is here in Northern Italy. In a land where the scenery is seldom the same two days running, there is never boredom, only excitement. Moving forward and growing as an artist requires both persistence and reflection; resting on one’s laurels is not a pastime I have ever enjoyed. Everything is about the journey and acknowledging how far there is to go to realise the Artist I am becoming.
Current series and brief history
The 2024 series of paintings could be said to be a divergence from my previous watercolour and ink drawings. However, if time is taken to examine the techniques used, it is possible to see that the same precision still exits. Structure and form still reach out to me, as they have always done. Using a palette knife has brought with it a strength grounded in sharp colours and looser movement. I can now chase the sun as it drifts across my horizons.
In terms of subject matter the 2024 series has been very much grounded by my world in Italy. Trees bring forth fruit and inspiration in equal measure. Olive trees and lemons have featured strongly in much of the new work. As the year progressed and the fields filled with sunflowers my ability to deny an old need was lost. In the past sunflowers came from supermarkets, now they fill my world from horizon to horizon. Architecture is still a strong influence driving my creativity. The presence of ochre coloured buildings with their crisp shadows will always be a motivation for my work. The previous use of line drawing has brought with it an understanding of the structure of buildings in Northern Italy. They will always be a beautiful and constant source of inspiration for everything I do.
Beyond the landscapes, inspiration for my work comes from a broad church. The passion for light draws on the work of the Newlyn School and the Australian Impressionists. Landscapes by Sisley and Cezanne will continue to be strong frames of reference and insight.
Materials and media
The psalm says “to everything there is a season” and so it is with both painting and drawing. As the weather warms I venture outside to meet the light and the promise of spring. This is the point at which watercolours and paper are overtaken by oil and canvas. Watercolour is a more thoughtful medium that, for me, encourages attention to detail and structure. As the sun rises in the sky creative needs change; each day brings with it the urgency of new growth.
Christmas Day, 2023