My paintings mostly start with places. Occasionally people inhabit them. I love looking at places but if you are looking for topography this work is probably not for you. What interests me is the making of a new reality where the image retains and reflects some characteristics of its original theme. But . . .

the space is explored -sometimes extended, sometimes reduced

often images/views are combined and manipulated

colours are almost always reduced overall then extended within a range

you get more than you can possibly see

what you see is impossible but it looks possible-some people call this super realism

As important as the image is a constant fascination with the manipulation of paint and the production of an interesting surface. When I was twenty I thought I had invented frottage and whilst I was rapidly disabused of this I have continued to work into the surface of the paint. I often use strong areas of flat or modulated colour alongside. I often use pigment in very thin glazes and build up the surface and richness of colour. Frottage as a technique has the excitement of the accidental, although like all `accidentals' the more you use it the more control you eventually exert. The paintings are on board as I need a hard surface to work on. An identifiable image is apparent and often initially dominant but on reflection the painting becomes more.

 

 

Reflections on Manhattan (2000-2002)

These paintings celebrate Manhattan. I visited the city in 1999 and was amazed at the incredible ambiguity of reflections contained within the insistent order of any number of grids, alongside a sublime blue verticality. My excitement at the complexity and beauty took me by surprise and continues to do so. The paintings explore a transitory world where seemingly solid and monumental buildings reflect a moment in time. The effects of light play wonderful tricks and the paintings rebuild a reality of air and space, of on and in, of through and back. They are by reflection and about reflection. They are the process and product of time to stand and stare.

These paintings were first exhibited in Oxford in May 2002 and now a Collection of prints is available. I know I will return to this theme.

 

Reflections on Oxford (2002)

Since June 2002 I have been working with my home city of Oxford. It is infinitely more difficult to see the familiar but after thirty years familiarity I can look at it with a refreshed eye. I started with Walton Street as I cycle down here to my allotment regularly. I thought the blue exterior of The Petit Blanc might wean me gently away from the blue of Manhattan. I cut my Oxford teeth with a variety of sizes and searches for that richness of surface which would reflect the place. Like the MOMA series it seemed to simply make more of itself as it has such a wealth of interest once you start to look. The device of using reflections allowed me to look slightly anew at the familiar. Generally the paintings use a window to frame and act as a grid to offer you new views. The Nuffield work twisted this format as the familiar image of the spire was sitting so starkly reflected in the lily pond that I left it to look after itself and let the lilies, lichen and wall assert their claim. I like the fragmentation this provokes which makes you look again. The Ede and Ravenscroft to Lincoln Library was a difficult balance with the suit, window frame and church portico battling it out to make a new whole. The Old Bank and St Mary the Virgin just entwined itself into existence. There are more to come and a Collection of prints is available.

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