I am obsessed with form and structure, texture and tone: colour is noise.
A drawing may start with an idea, a sketch, a photograph – or two, or many. Much of my art becomes the rendering over many hours what might be hinted in an instant.
These detailed works involve painstaking process whilst retaining expression and movement. But the work must never be merely a photographic representation.
This is my great challenge, my compulsion. Still subjects in fluid environments, rendered within a static medium.
Movement within stillness.
I work primarily with graphite, pencil, and charcoal on various papers and boards. Each ground selected for its texture, grain, and tone to best reflect the subject. Sometimes working with the natural tooth and texture of the chosen ground, other times deliberately fighting against it.
The chaos must out
There is another side to my work. Detailed control builds the pressure of fluidity and expression. Sometimes, the ideas and images can only be effectively rendered in abstracted, coloured forms.
Here, I turn to acrylic paint: a medium that allows precise control over each session of activity a painting lives through.
In contrast to the precisely-defined, clear imagery of drawing, abstracts must be uncovered within the original concept. Marks and shapes and colours are rendered, then obscured, re-rendered, then obscured. Textures and tones established, reshaped, reformed.
Eventually, there comes more a feeling of abandonment than true completion.
The contrast between these two working styles can appear discomforting, yet each balances the other, each is as necessary to my creative process as light and dark.