“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
– Pablo Picasso
Children draw and paint as naturally as they live and breathe. They do it every day. But I forgot, or wilfully lost, this natural instinct in my early adulthood. I buried myself in academia and then law until something called me back to my first love. It was not sudden. It was a slow journey of rediscovery as I began to nurture that urge to paint. I paint because it makes me feel alive; it brings me back to myself.
In 2013 I moved to the Fens and it was here that I finally allowed myself to paint full-time. The landscape became my subject. I have always been interested in landscape as an experience – how a place makes me feel, its mood and atmosphere, the memories it triggers and the stories that are intimately bound with it.
The landscape of the Fens is very flat and empty and the sky feels open and limitless. For me, it’s a place that compels me to go inside myself and my practice has become both self-expression and self-discovery. I paint what I feel from this landscape rather than the detail of what I see.
The paint itself is an important part of my focus. I enjoy the process of working with oil paints in various different textures and consistencies, from thick and buttery to thin and glossy. I work intuitively to keep the immediacy and energy of feeling alive, even if the painting has taken many days or weeks to complete.
The joy and the struggle of my practice is in learning to loosen the mind and let the painting reveal itself to me. Working in layers, I allow myself to have a dialogue with the painting. The first layers are often applied vigorously and quickly. But I may then play with the image by alternately removing and adding paint or rotating the canvas to allow for ‘unplanned’ effects that I can respond to when taking the painting towards completion.