Tutor: Annie Turner
My paintings begin to evolve from a feeling for a place (recently the Scottish islands of Iona and Shetland). It might be the light, it might be the shapes, the colours or the sense for what may have been there before. I am particularly interested in the history of a place, the archaeology and the mythology, the layers and remains of human existence. There is time spent within the landscape and sketching – often quite figuratively, but sometimes with eyes closed using the memory of the place to guide the pen. The sketchbooks go straight into the studio, they hold the key to revisiting the place, they open the door back into the landscape. Whether on paper or canvas, what usually happens next is a process of mark-making. Probably barefoot, often with eyes closed, bringing back the feeling of the place, more of an emotional response than an attempt to draw, though sometimes there’s that too. A conversation between myself and the painting starts, which may last weeks or months – it can be a rollercoaster ride. Paint applied and removed, layers, marks made and hidden then scraped back and revealed. And then one day the painting says done.
I have been teaching alongside my own practice for many years now and focus on mark making, drawing, experimental printmaking, embracing risks and the freedom and joy of pushing paint around. It’s a wonderful thing to see student’s confidence grow and to see them develop and embrace the techniques I share with them.