The seclusion imposed on us by the outbreak of Covid-19 has enabled me to spend extended periods in the studio; painting, drawing, potting and learning how to teach art online. This has also been a time for me to reflect on the direction which my work has taken over the last three years. I feel that my relationship with oil-paint has relaxed. I appreciate the flexibility which slower drying times offer and the opportunity which the the medium provides for layering textures and glazes. I remain fascinated by the play of light and shade, evident in all my work, portraits as well as landscapes.
In February 2020 I participated in a three-day workshop at Raw Umber Studios which equipped me with the technique needed to begin a series of portraits in oil. The first was of my dear friend Babs, for the previous version -in acrylic- had gone to hang in her daughter's home.
My creative output now extends to clay. I have been making tableware and decorative pieces, both hand-built and thrown on the wheel for several years now. The Clay Loft in Nailsworth has proved a stimulating environment and I look forward to returning there when lock-down restrictions allow.
The darkness which has pervaded my paintings recently is beginning to recede as I continue to be intrigued by the effects of light.
By exploring new processes I am currently experimenting with different ways to create texture and surface, always allowing the paint to lead the way.
These paintings see a return to previous themes and ideas as I begin to include some more figurative aspects again.
These recent paintings reflect my on-going fascination with light and its transient effects.
Light through trees, strong bright negative shapes, the play of light over curves describing their form, flecks, blocks, and most of all, stripes.
The rhythm of the light that hits you as you pass a fence or shuttered wall, the splay of shadows thrown on a path by branches overhead.
All of the paintings were created during 2016/17, a time of active experimentation with oil paint which pushed my work into a new direction.