Earlier this year I had work exhibited with Art Van Go in Knebworth, The Wynd Gallery in Letchworth, and at the New Maynard Gallery in Welwyn Garden City. Sadly all other planned exhibitions over the summer were cancelled. However, my main news this year is that just before lockdown I moved from a shared studio near Hitchin, into my own, purpose-built studio at home. So through lockdown I have been busy 'nesting' and settling in to my new space, revelling in the fact that all I have to do is walk across the courtyard to get to it!
This is a difficult time for all of us, but I have aimed to remain positive, and without the pressure of exhibitions and other commitments I have used the time to explore new ideas and new ways of working, doing on-line courses aiming to develop my practice. I have approached my work in the spirit of play again, curious to see where it takes me. This is an ongoing journey in the life of an artist!
The #artistsupportpledge has also been a life line for many artists, including me, enabling us to sell small pieces of work for £200 or under through Instagram, and Facebook. The idea is that when you have sold £1,000 worth of work you buy the work of another artist for £200 or under - what goes around comes around! I will continue to participate in this wonderful initiative and look forward to choosing what to buy!
Updated August 2020
My paintings are an emotional and contemplative response to landscape. They are primarily process driven, allowing a semblance of landscape to emerge out of semi translucent layers of loose paint, collage and mixed media, partially revealing, partially obscuring what came before. The viewer is therefore encouraged to a personal response; a recognition not of specific place but rather of an emotion, atmosphere or mood relating to place.
My work is usually colourful, my paintings range from large canvases, a metre square, to small works no more than 15 cm square - I am particularly drawn to working on a square format, but not exclusively! My materials include collage and various mixed media, and I use a wide range of tools to spread and splatter paint, scratch into the surface and make marks. I like to create areas with detail where your eye can linger, balanced by areas for the eye to rest. I am not aiming to create a recognisable depiction of a specific place, I believe art should be transformative, and create a feeling of place, or have an emotional association. I am fascinated by the drama of light and dark, and my landscapes often reflect an internal world as much as an external world. This has been particularly true during the recent lockdown, when I have found that my work often describes something of my emotional journey.
I have also found lockdown has influenced my work in other ways - I have been working on new surfaces, using bits of board that I had lying around, rather than using precious canvases, especially when exhibiting is uncertain and storage is at a premium. Painting on board has a different quality to painting on canvas - it can take rougher treatment, and can be sanded back creating interesting surface textures, so this is is challenging my practice and encouraging me to develop new techniques. As mentioned above, lockdown has also offered the space and opportunity to take some on line course to develop my work further. Every cloud....!