Observations of colour, line and texture around me here in the landscape provide the continuous inspiration, conversation and movement around the canvas as I work. Layers of colour are a sensory response to a place, or the experience or knowledge of a place. Wherever I go on my daily walks I’m observing elements within the natural environment, and the seasonal growth, harvest, decay and renewal. 

More recently the process of making paintings has become a vehicle for expression of thoughts and concerns – from climate emergency to global inequality. The addition and subtraction of paint is a process of searching, questioning and refinement; the mark-making and the interplay of form and gesture. Scraping through the layers to real previous colours and marks, allowing for the unexpected and for those unplanned outcomes – all leading to a visual representation of my place, our concerns, and our time in this life. Finally the painting will be the result of the placement of the selected colours, the tools in my hand that move the paint over the surface, and the decisions made to develop the now abstract composition.

 

Experiences of being in and part of this landscape are important for me  – the rugged hills, granite boulders and the tors of Bodmin Moor; footpaths, fields, streams and woodland, trees and hedgerows of the Lynher Valley. The painting will eventually find its own direction which may be from initial sketches and exploratory drawings, the choice of colours and materials, sometimes adding organic material, often layers that may be smudged or scraped through, but always retaining the knowledge and something truthful that fulfils a purpose, so the painting becomes a distillation of these thoughts and experiences.

Living in this beautiful corner of Cornwall, close to Bodmin Moor, I walk every day through fields from the studio or along footpaths and out on the moor. I need that connection with the landscape and natural environment. I see the farming seasons and  the changing the landscapes; I pick up litter discarded in hedgerows, I count the decreasing numbers of butterflies, and feel a loss when ‘our’ swallows haven’t returned to nest in the garage (although thankfully three finally arrived this year – 2019 – a few weeks later than usual). 

I sometimes take photographs, catching images and glimpses of possible routes for paintings, as visual reminders of a moment, an experience, the drama of a season. Then it’s back in the studio where I start to bring those thoughts together into the canvas. 

Exif_JPEG_PICTUREMy roots lie deep in the Cornish landscape; ancestors have farmed in north Cornwall for generations and I grew up here in a farming family. Returning to live in this valley on the edge of Bodmin Moor – after teaching in primary schools and before that teaching art in secondary and further education – a small converted stone barn is now my painting studio. This part of Cornwall I know well, and reflected in my paintings are elements of the rural life and landscape around my studio.

 

 

2019
Terre Verte Gallery, Altarnun.
Open Studios Cornwall

2017
Open Studios Cornwall

2016
Kreft Landreyne – exhibition and open studios

2015 
Open Studios Cornwall
A’n Dor (Of the Earth) – Lynher Valley group exhibition and open studios

2014
Open Studios Cornwall
Lynher Valley Art Walk and open studios

2013 
Lander Gallery, Truro. Six of my Bodmin Moor paintings were included in an exhibition  ‘Wild Cornwall’.
Lynher Valley Art Walk and open studios