I have been making art all my life, but took the decision several years ago to pursue painting more seriously and see where it lead me. My first interest was landscape. Drawing and painting more consistently made me start to look differently. My first subjects were all drawn from within a mile or two of my house, and after a while it began to transform my experience of living here. It began to dawn on me that being an artist was actually a way of life, of being in the world, and it wasn’t confined to the times when I was actually painting.
During this time, I was working from photographs, plein-air painting, and life drawing, but after a few years I began to gradually feel dissatisfied. I was learning a lot, and learning how to handle the paint, but it was becoming obvious that it was not really coming from myself. The work seemed increasingly derivative, based on memories and things I had seen others do. It left a hollow feeling and this feeling made me realize I needed to take a leap and set out on my own. So, the way I worked began to change.
I abandoned trying to represent what was physically visible, making painterly depictions of outward things. Instead, I began to start with experiences, inner impressions that called me to engage through paint. Often this initial impression was vague, but I realized that was OK; all that was needed was enough to begin, then that would lead to the next step, then the next. Each painting was becoming a journey, the outcome of which couldn’t be seen in advance.
I am still working this way, in fact it feels as though I have only just begun.