Why are your paintings so different?
Why are your paintings so different? - This is a question often asked by visitors to my exhibitions.
Generally they are referring to the difference between my abstract paintings and the figurative ones. Painting the abstract paintings is pure play for me, while prompted from a very fundamental desire to reflect the way that I see what is around me. When I walk through a garden, city, field or woodland, my eye constantly moves around the vertical and oblong or round shapes to discover or affirm patterns. This is what I do when I am painting in an abstract way. I don't think about it too much, and just enjoy the effect of placing one colour or shape next to another, the space in between, deciding whether or not to leave or fill the space, and so on. I listen to music without lyrics when I am doing this, and am probably at my happiest. The figurative paintings always start with a strong image in my mind, whether that is from a dream or a strong feeling about a person or place. I usually make a rough sketch or plan in my sketchbook, nothing presentable, just shorthand to remind me to turn the image into a painting eventually. Sometimes the plan will remain in my head/sketchbook for months, until I am ready to try to paint it. I find this kind of painting much more challenging because I know what mood I want to present, and will use different techniques to try to achieve that. I think this is why some people struggle to relate my paintings to each other, because they do not all use the same technique or colour palette. However, I often use the same motifs and marks, many of which are found within the abstract and figurative paintings. Bold lines and cellular or oval shapes recur frequently within the landscapes, creating a dynamic movement which hopefully reflects the way I see the world, on the outside and the inside.