When a landscape becomes meaningful to you, it gets under your skin to create vivid memories. My paintings and process capture that…
There’s a kind of wild light here in the Brecon Beacons – you see *all* the weather and the seasons feel extreme. This works on creativity in an inescapable way.
Celebrating the solace of place
Landscape painting is all about personal experience – those exceptional times when you’re alone outside and exposed to all the elements, discovering a wilderness. You’ll undoubtedly agree, it’s never just about what we physically see…
The main aim of the paintings is to communicate atmosphere above the reality of the scene.
My special place is in the Brecon Beacons – you’ll find me in my stone-built studio in the remote Olchon Valley, under the shadow of Offa’s Dyke and Hatterall Hill. The Cat’s Back and Skirrid mountains bookend the ridge. What a privilege to live in this magical part of the world – perched on the border between England and Wales, UK (which sums up my mixed heritage perfectly). If you’re ever in the area, you’re welcome to visit any time.
Creating depth – drip, scratch and smudge
Instinct – the physical response to materials – primarily guides the painting process of these wild landscapes. Any conscious decision-making almost seems retrospective. The marks and passages of colour often happen before I realise I’ve made any decision at all…
The more obvious choices for any artist to make are around the materials they select to work with. These are varied for me. “Painting” began in 2020 using printmaker’s inks applied with rollers – there were precious few paints or brushes in the studio, set up only for printmaking, back then.
Developing a rich history
Still keen to use random tools – like brayers, scrapers, sticks and my own fingers – I work messily, allowing the piece to develop and change with rich layering.
There’s an inevitable tension between how expressive and abstract a landscape can become versus how recognisable you make the view. Personally, I will always see-saw between fully abstract (playing in sketchbooks) and more representative landscape paintings on board and canvas. Experimentation is key.
Luckily, discovery drives me on. The only way to grow is to make a lot of art. And – despite the need for aloneness in the landscape – I savour connecting with other artists and sharing my process and work. The art community hugely informs and enriches our creative development.