Still life is the primary focus of my work because of the control over composition and attention to detail afforded by this type of painting. I find the relationship between specific objects particularly fascinating, especially when elements that seem incongruous can be made to complement each other in surprising ways. The illusion in my work draws from but progresses beyond the simple visual trickery of traditional trompe l’oeil and becomes conceptual when the relationship between objects alters how we perceive them.
I am an avid reader and my partner is a writer (she is a big influence on each of my paintings as she is hugely knowledgeable and creative), so much of my work is inspired by literature. Some of my paintings are inspired by entire stories, some by passages from books and many of them are interpretations of poetry. The visual nature of poems makes them particularly appropriate for the thematic content of paintings. I am especially fond of the work of T.S. Eliot and many of my paintings are inspired by his writings.
In addition to art and literature I am also very influenced by my surroundings. I live in the countryside and spend much of my time outdoors walking our dog and foster dogs; natural history, archaeology and anthropology play a big role in the development of my themes and aesthetic choices. Apart from still life, I enjoy the challenge of plein air landscape painting and the sense of authenticity that comes from immersing myself in a scene and capturing the sense of place directly. I have a preference for the brightly coloured panels and methods favoured by American Tonalist painters.
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