I use multitudes of lines, dots and strokes to portray anything I recognise as beautiful. I hail from an area of Liverpool called Sefton, which is both rural and coastal and has inspired me to draw and paint land and waterscapes from an early age. Liverpool is also rich in brilliant architecture; notably Georgian and classical, which has also influenced my work.
My passions include locating beautiful scenes to portray and journeys involved; especially by foot over rugged terrain. I love the act of viewing and I am awe-stricken by encounters with expanse, detail and light. Art will keep me venturing outdoors where many of my preliminary and compositional drawings are created. Mixing many colours from very few also brings me immense joy.
My Design Strategy
In preparation for a painting, I prefer to complete on-site compositional line drawings as they assist with deciding whether to proceed to the painting stage and provide insight into what to include or what to add to the painting. Weather conditions must be favourable if preparatory drawings are to be practised. I wrap up if the temperature is cold and attempt to find shelter if raining but generally only draw outdoors from May to October nowadays.
Recently, I have been painting on wooden boards. I found pastel pencils to be effective for drawing out as they provide soft lines quickly. It is useful to choose a colour that blends well with the overall tone of the picture when painting occurs, for example the trees against a wintry sky are better drawn in grey pastel pencil and if the sky is dusky, I use warmer colours such as red ochre. Painting takes place in my studio. Photographs are used for colour reference.
My Working Process
My preliminary drawings are usually in carbon or pastel pencil: I use one on paper and the other on board. I have used various media since childhood but discovered the gritty nature of acrylic is suitable for portraying earthy opacity in tree trunks, landmasses and stone. Its fluidity can also provide decent representation of distance and haze.
Acrylic can, with some labour be used to portray tiny detail and definition. The appearance of this visual minutia is not as fast as with oil but repeated layering on primed wood usually works and the resulting fine tonal gradient can be effective.
Meyerside, UK, Rivington View, acrylic, 48 x 64 cm (19 x 25")