Painting for me is a journey of self-discovery and I'm constantly pushing myself to the limits of my ability to achieve this. I often feel the aim of my paintings is to punch holes in the gallery walls and let the daylight in, or nightlight depending on the work. The intention is to let the viewer enter these spaces and absorb the psychology in there.
Many of these scenes have been lurking in the back of my mind for years and it’s been a matter of finding an avenue to get them out onto the canvas. The source material may be a photo I took a week ago or many years ago and I look for scenes of no particular beauty or interest, yet when viewed at the right time of day or in a particular light they can become seductive. I use light to create a sense of beauty or serenity in scenes some may find disturbing.
I have to be moved by a scene before I will paint it. I like to explore the dynamic between beauty and loneliness, between isolation and serenity. Sometimes I will juxtapose a sky from one scene with a landscape of another to achieve the desired psychological effect. Often I will produce a drawing first to explore the possibilities in a scene, this enables me to ‘get into the scene’ and ask questions about how I feel when I’m in there. Basically I’m developing a relationship with the scene.
In commenting on the beautiful, if sombre works of Caspar David Friedrich, Author Alain de Botton argues that his work gives us access to a state of mind in which we are acutely aware of the largeness of time and space. This state of mind can put the travails of our daily existence into some perspective.