I am a portrait and figurative painter, working mostly on paper using inks and watercolour.
Alongside portraiture I have also been painting more generally about childhood. In these works I use images of children, often at play to explore a broader subject of the rituals and preoccupations of childhood which prepare them for adulthood. These paintings, often in soft sepia’s and muted greys, aim to be both a nostalgic and contemporary look at children’s lives.
I find the challenge in painting portraits in watercolour, is to retail some control of the portrait when the water and pigment interact, while at the same time, allowing chance and chemistry to play their role in the creation of the image. Too much control and carefulness can reduce the joy and energy of a watercolour. But if too much is left to chance, the image becomes chaotic and will lose focus. Each of my paintings walks a delicate line between these two, chance and control.
Like all portrait painters, my works aim to capture the essence of a sitter over time. The aim is to ‘charge the image with more authority than a single snapshot’.
Painting landscape has always been part of my creative output. I fell in love with the landscapes of Emile Nolde when I was at art college and continue to be inspired their vivacious colours and energy today. In recent works I have been painting with feathers, alongside brushes and drawing pens to create a wider variety of marks and using a limited palette to create a strong graphic feel to the paintings.