Using traditional techniques which celebrate and expose human mark-making, I create abstract images in oils that are built up over time, capturing energy and slowly releasing their information as you live with them. There is a lot of scraping-back and over-painting and I want the process to be apparent in the finished work, I try not to tidy things up too much as this tends to kill the spirit of a piece. When completed, I want an image that will make you stop and look, but also one that has a depth and will keep you coming back for more, just as I have returned to paintings by Rembrandt or De Kooning throughout my life.
Like the Dadaists a century ago, by rejecting figurative imagery I’m rejecting all that I dislike about popular culture; celebrity, vanity, self-obsession, corporate greed. I may work from sketchbooks I made thirty years ago or use other images that are in danger of being forgotten from our pre-digital past, most recently photos that my father took from his Spitfire in WW2. Equally I sketch constantly and like to combine ideas from today with those from the past.
There is an element of autobiography and storytelling in the work although the images are abstracted, it's not always easy to decipher but I'm not spoon-feeding babies. I make work for people who are prepared to bring their own ideas to the table and look to themselves for answers, rather than expecting answers to be handed to them on a plate. Ultimately, I want to convey a sense of balance and encourage contemplation.