Tuesday, 19 February 2008

More about painting

I just wanted to add something to the last post. Although it is true to say that my paintings do not deal with ideas, I might have given the impression that they do not really depict anything. That certainly is not true. Many of my paintings portray a particular place for example.

I lived in London for many years, sharing a studio in Shoreditch - with Francis Mosley whom I've already mentioned, John Morris and Louise Brierley. I was at college at Manchester with Louise where we both trained as illustrators. Louise was always hugely talented. She is now a painter, as you will see if you follow the link.

When I worked in London I painted landscapes, many of them of the British coast. I have a fascination with the work of British painters and illustrators from the middle of the 20th Century - people like John Piper, Graham Sutherland, Keith Vaughan, William Scott, Paul and John Nash. I felt a kind of Romantic attachment to them as so many of them also produced illustrations. The line between painter and illustrator seemed more blurred. I related to that. I even sent some samples of my work to John Piper and got a nice postcard back.

When I moved to Norfolk in 1993 I thought I would paint more, but in fact I became busier as an illustrator and painted less. Besides which, I found the Norfolk landscape difficult to get a handle on. I felt like I wanted to tip it up like a table top, or take to the air like Peter Lanyon and see it from above. In fact my most successful Norfolk pictures were not landscapes at all, but watercolours of pieces of flint I picked up on the beach (yes - I know it was wrong). There is something about them that seems to contain an essence of that coast. Here is an example.

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