14th March 2011

Clarifying my thoughts about my own practice, I would categorise myself as an abstract landscape artist.  I think I’ve Prof Rosenblum to thank for that.  He links up Northern Romantic Landscape painting with Abstract Expressionism, Caspar David Friedrich with Mark Rothko.  I like that, and it makes me feel like perhaps I belong somewhere in Western art history after all.

Issues of time, and deep time, and the very beginnings of things, are the motivations I have for making art.  So archaeology, particularly to do with prehistory, is of great importance, and that makes the landscape my starting point.  And I’ve been developing a working method which so far has suited me well.  I’ve focussed on a place of archaeological significance to me and walked to that place, making quick sketches as I go.  Back in the studio I work the sketches up, either singly or in combination, to make bigger drawings.  As this process goes on, a particular form may be distilled from the drawings which I feel I want to develop into a painting.  On the way I try to learn something about that place and the people who once had a connection there.  I’m building up my own vocabulary of marks that have cartographic overtones, and I’m trying to apply these to both drawings and paintings.  I suppose I am searching for visual forms  and images that speak about more than the landscape itself, that point to the reality of the unseen in the visible world.  Having said that, physically walking in the landscape and experiencing it is such an important part of things.  At the moment I am considering the word ‘resonance’, to try and explain how I feel in such a landscape, at such ancient sites.  I expect the task of  producing visual images which effectively communicate what I’ve been saying will take many years.  Am I up to this challenge??


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