I will mess around in almost any media for making pictures being driven solely by my own interests and what works for me. In these pages most pictures when 'clicked' open up to a larger view in a new browser window, use the back function to return. I do not use acrylics, I know in more accomplished hands they can make fine things but I find them gaudy and unnatural.
Here is my latest oil painting which has now been underway many months. Starting life as a triptych it was as usual an unwieldy concept which was never likely to progress satisfactorily so it has now morphed into something more manageable. Come back here for updates.
I tend not to describe my work as art. I paint but even after 50 years or so I still find it very strenuous work. Inspiration seems to happen easily enough but gestation is often slow, implementation long winded and overly complex. Extensive revisions with frequent re-direction are often required before anything crystallises. I am fussy, self-critical and, in a somewhat contradictory fashion, both perfectionist and self-satisfied at the same time. Surprising therefore that I ever finish a thing but those I have completed, those which appear here, I am quite fond of. Promise and Shostakoviching, parts 3 and 4 of my Self Portrait in Five Parts, are, at the time of writing the nearest I have ever come to "Art" in my terms. I am particularly proud of those two.
I am not influenced by any particular painter or school other than in a subconscious way rather by an eclectic mix of ideas, tastes and influences which have struck me as interesting over the years. I do often use symbolism, not an uncommon thing with painters, but I do not follow the school of that name. I employ symbols as a language with which to express myself without revealing myself directly. My life is in my work. There are some hard things in there, hard to live with that is. Painting is cathartic. In the process of creating I find I am able to objectify both the joy and the pain of living and by so doing survive them.
I do not generally (unless my guard is down!) comment on "meaning" in any of my work although there are threads and interconnections in my pictures and my writing with more than enough clues to go on if you are inclined to search them out. If you do not 'get it' then treat it like a foreign language. Either learn it or visit another place which is easier on you.
My personal painting heros are Marc Chagall and Amadeo Modigliani. The former has been an attraction ever since I gave a presentation on his work as a project to the rest of the Art class at school (I must have been about 12 or 13 at the time) and the latter because, like all my artistic heroes, he exemplifies both the artist's struggle with his own humanity and suffering but in his art honours and records the suffering and joys of humanity around him. I find Modigliani's portraits rich in soul and feeling. They are of real persons intensely and revealingly observed and uniquely lovable as humans.
The latibule, as I call it, started life as a modest garden shed. After an additional potting shed was erected farther up the garden the older was re-purposed and acquired a couple of extra windows, a new roof, a 1 metre extension on its long side, work benches on two other sides, a work table and a built in easel. In the process it earned itself the new name of the Shedio. It is a little cramped to say the least but it suits me to be thus contained. In summer with the door open to let in the birds’ chattering gossip or in winter under a deadening duvet of snow with the heaters full on and some hard jazz to nourish the soul, it is all I will ever desire.