I am a contemporary abstract expressionist painter, I generate the ideas and concepts through the painting process itself. The unpredictable nature of the layering of cold wax and oils or pigments that I apply to my substrate will cover yet also emphasize areas, concepts and metaphors, as I work. Each step is a reaction to the one before. It is working with the serendipitous and the spontaneous that I most enjoy. I manipulate the materials to express myself, to find my own visual language. the more layers I paint, the more interesting and thought-provoking the surface becomes. I love these heavily textured surfaces. the history of the painting is an important part of my creative process.
Initially there is the unbound application of colour and wax texture. This is a more subliminal act, an indirect response to music or my past and present environment perhaps. There lies both my inspiration together with the challenge. It’s at this critical point that my need for balance and form becomes the focus. I use drawing media between the layers of transparent wax and pigment so that earlier stages leave faint traces underneath showing through, and one always sees the layers beneath. Building up layers, and gouging down to reveal what is below creates an opportunity for the unexpected to reveal itself. It is working with the serendipitous and the spontaneous that I most enjoy. I incorporate many techniques in my work, including some from my printmaking background. I like to maintain an open experimental attitude towards materials and tools.
The unfolding of mystery reveals the inherent beauty in the piece. This is what pulls me forward, leads me into the unknown, embracing and/or grappling with whatever comes up. I finally arrive at a balance between the order and the chaos, light and dark, traditional and expression, always searching for the balance, as with life.
It is not easy to paint abstractly, it took years of learning the craft before I could let go of the ‘real’ world and be free enough to allow my whole self to enter the canvas and paint what is inside. Ultimately a thorough understanding of compositional qualities is very important in creating successful abstract designs. It doesn’t matter if the viewer doesn’t ‘understand’ what it means. In fact, what it means fades into the background because the work speaks. It sings out and touches you personally. It may not do the same for your partner or best friend. But that is the beauty of art. It is your own personal relationship with a work of art that is what matters; it is an intimate and private affair. mixed media painting