2014 - present
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The seemingly simplistic shapes and arrangements within these more recent paintings do not come from a Pop Art or cartooning tradition but are a result of improvised drawing. The subject matter is recognisably harbours, landscapes and still-lifes etc. but I deal with these subjects purely in terms of shape and colour. The “game” of lining things up and jig-sawing shapes together is paramount and my interest (and training) in Abstraction, Cubism and Minimalism continues to influence the outcome (as I mention on the 'Archive' page). The works do not depict any particular place but I am happy to allow the viewer to recognise scenes from their own memories.
The first series of works. Begun in 2014 they are a response to my retiring from teaching and moving away from Bude to a very different environment.
Memories of the sea front, harbours, boats, Cornish towns, the view from a cafe.
Living in middle of the Devon countryside has a profound effect on the work.
Green is everywhere and previously very rarely used!
The shapes, colours and textures of fields, hills, roads. The way a village or town will appear nestled into the shape of the countryside.
This series of paintings seems to have evolved so naturally - the 'studio' being sited right next to a cow field with all the smells, sights and natural sounds that produces.
These works follow on from the last of the Devon Series but are now wholly developed from drawings that begin with geometric shapes of various kinds, jigsawing and overlapping before being developed into the familiar landscapes and interiors of previous work. The internal geometry is also beginning to influence the outer shape of the final piece in some cases
A large part of 2019 was spent making a series of smaller circular paintings.
Made on bread-boards with a 'natural' frame they are sized at 30cm diam. and 20cm diam.
The circular format often influences decisions which are made concerning the combination of shapes in the interior of the painting.
As with all my work I regard to surface and shape of the 'canvas' as an "arena" in which the action of drawing and painting (and all the decisions that have to be made) happen. Just like solving a crossword puzzle, the solutions to my self-devised problem lie entirely within the work itself.
Looking an exhibition of my recent work I became aware of the preponderance of greens and blues in the landscapes. I wanted to start using brighter slightly more outrageous colours for fields and buildings etc. Seven paintings from the earlier Harbour and Devon series were re-mastered and given a face-lift with more vibrant colours and altered shapes.