Q: You have'nt released any new work in years, what are you working on at the moment?
I have been off the brushes for a while, almost two years due to job commitments as I also work full time (needs must). I feel drained mentally and need time to reflect on where and what I should be doing. I love painting and love what I paint and feel that I have a lot more to show even though I have no formal training and every piece I do is literally learned on the job. That said, I am working on Savana [below] and several fine art paintings with some abstracts on the burner.
Q: How did you discover your talent for art?
Art really is such a diverse and unique form of expression whether created by the artist or viewed by the observer, there is always something for someone. When I create work I am overwhelmed by a sense of wellbeing and it's that feeling which keeps me painting, I also paint because of the students that contact me.
Recognition of ones work could be defined by media attention or financial reward or perhaps something else, I realised early on that those things don’t matter, what does matter is the recognition from people, the observer, the students, the art lovers who like the work because it resonates with them, something inside, something primordial connects the viewer with the work and in that split second a kind of recognition, a familiarity binds them together.
My love for art started when I was a child, before I can even remember and held me in good stead through to High School where I was one of their best creative artists working in pencil and charcoal medium.
It was the early 1980's and our school just didn’t encourage art or creative students to pursue careers in that field of study, it was either too expensive or deemed a waste of time especially, if all you achieved was an Art Degree! Who would employ me in the real world? I dropped Art and left school in 1984 and never touched Art again, not until 2012. What you see on this website is my complete body of work.
I had never used this (acrylic/canvas) medium before but, felt compelled to try. If you look at Avalon she is monochrome which hails back to my pencil/charcoal days. Because I had never used paint before, I stuck to a method I was familiar with and in my mind at least, used the paint as I would with charcoal. As I progressed with my technique I became bolder and introduced colour to my work, which to be honest was a real culture shock but worth the pain, La Indulgencia was the end result.
Gilding the Lilly is the first mixed media painting I have attempted and was a break from my norm. In my latest work which again is allegorical, I want the viewer to see beyond the glitterati of narcissism and instead find the beauty beneath. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and doesn’t need external influence or additions to make it more so. In a world full of thin veneers and airbrushing we are blinded by what is real to the extent we believe what we actually see. So what is real? In my painting I try to emphasise the fact by covering her in gold as though the very act would make her more beautiful, when in reality she is far more beautiful without it.
‘To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, is wasteful and ridiculous excess’. W Shakespeare
Gilding the Lilly - acrylic and gold leaf
Grace, La Incognita and Purdah are all pastiche in nature and are based on the brilliant photography of Viktoria Stutz and makeup Artist Julia Sieckman. I use their concept but wanted to add my own interpretation to convey in my paintings. I capture their emotion whether solemn or indifferent and by using base colour create subtle depth.
Savana a work in progress
Q: Explain some of your pieces meaning to us, what about La Obsesión?
La Obsesión in essence is a distorted self-image,. I painted this piece in a very random fashion using black and white paint as metaphor to Yin and yang. Yin and yang can be thought of as complementary (rather than opposing) forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the assembled parts. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, (for instance shadow cannot exist without light). Distinctions between good and bad, along with other dichotomous moral judgments, are perceptual, not real; so, the duality of yin and yang is an indivisible whole.
The Devil's in the detail, working on La Incognita 2012
La Indulgencia using colour paint for the first time