As a child, I was always painting and drawing and it was only in retirement that I started to paint seriously. I attended a watercolour class at Evesham College and started by painting typical English landscapes. Travelling to South East Asia for business and on holiday, I found myself attracted to the cultures and lifestyles of the people of the area; their daily lives and customs interest me far more than the historical sites themselves.
Through interaction with some of the people I've learned to look more closely at everything around me and, as I started to paint some of these scenes, I realised that I needed to change the colours in my palette for deeper and more vibrant ones: rice fields are not the same green as spring corn fields, bamboo and palm trees are different in colour and texture, as well as shape and movement, to oak and willow.
Different papers and grounds take the paint in different ways and influence the final colours and textures in a painting. The same subject painted using the same paints but on different grounds will result in two distinctly different pictures and some new products allow for an interestingvariety of textures and effects.
I love the way watercolours and inks run, blend, separate to ”do their own thing”, but also how acrylics and oils can be built up in layers, scraped back, smoothed out or used to create texture. So my working style is rather haphazard to start with - I like to let the paint lead me to the next step.
A year ago I started on a series of small paintings where I concentrated on trying to convey a feeling of expansiveness, of being drawn into the unseen. This has developed into larger pictures where I try to leave out the detail in favour of the overall feeling of the moment. It involves a fair bit of sitting, and staring at – and then walking away from – the beginning stages; sometimes scraping off or removing almost entirely, and lots of tweaking and adjusting – as I said, haphazard but becoming more intuitive as I progress.