I'm interested the way we remember things; the way in which a shape or colour can remind us of a place or a person. In effect I'm painting what I remember rather than what I see. I try to produce an antidote to the sanitised digital images that surround us in this digital age. I like paintings with brush-marks and drips that look like they have been made by a human being rather than a computer programme. I love to see a trace of charcoal or a fingerprint in works by Picasso or Matisse; that’s what thrills me about art, evidence of the working process. I like to get my hands dirty and I like the thought of a brushstroke as a moment in an artist’s life.
My sketchbooks over the last thirty-five years are filled with drawings, photos and collages and it’s this ongoing observation of the world that provides the content and structure for my work. By the time I start to paint, the information I need is in my head, I just need to allow the information to escape through the paintbrush and charcoal. With any canvas I have to abandon preconceptions about the end result, in order to give it the freedom it needs to evolve. During the process I will often have to paint over areas that I like in order to distill the information, it can be quite a mercenary activity. Images need to be pared-down to just the essential elements in order for a painting to work for me; the skill is deciding what is necessary and what can be left behind. My work is generally defined as semi-abstract in style and the influence of British post-modernists like Peter Lanyon, Ivon Hitchens and Barbara Hepworth is clear to see, I've always been drawn to these artists and I’m happy to see their echoes in my paintings.
These paintings have an initial impact, but also a depth that unfolds as you spend time with the piece. A painting that initially might look fairly straightforward will reveal evidence of a more complex working process in the texture and depth of the paint. Most of the images evolve over a period of several weeks, I work on many different canvasses at one time, adding layers and leaving them to dry and returning to work on them again until an image finally reveals itself. There is no correct interpretation of the work, I encourage people to trust their instincts where art is concerned; you may not know why a particular painting sings out to you, but trust that it does. Painting is about expressing emotion, about gut-feeling as much as intellect. In my experience, there has to be honesty in a successful painting if it is to stand the test of time.