Employing drawing, painting and often ‘collecting’ sound, I seek to create work that evokes a feeling of being small in order to express the power and elemental forces present in nature. The fleeting moments; raw edges; shifting light; lungfuls of fresh air; space and isolation. The sounds I collect while I am working outside are of our time; the journey; the landscape and nature. They act as aural sketches which I listen to as I develop the larger scale work. They take me back to the place, to the moment.
I was born in Devon in 1970 and went on to study at Oxford Polytechnic between 1988-1991 where I was fortunate to be taught and mentored by Ivor Robinson MBE.
Drawing has always been at the core of my working practice and my primary study involves working outside in sketchbooks. These sketchbooks are essential, and the drawings within them are a vital inspiration and information for further work, as well as a way to experience the landscape. I use forces of mark to communicate light and energy; to be physically involved in the work; to strive for simplicity but strength and to attempt to become a part of the weather and the space.
I am an active member of the School of Landscape Painting which combines the practical challenges of landscape painting with that of academic study. Within the school there is a culture of discussion and shared experience to encourage a deeper communication of the subject. I am also part of The Dorset Salon, a selected fine art membership group that encourages critical debate.
British landscape painting has a fine and honourable tradition which I draw upon while also referencing asian influences and traditions as a result of a lasting impression made by a trip to Japan in my twenties. My aim over the next year is to create large scale landscape paintings that don’t hang on walls. Instead I will invite you to enter through the paintings, come face to face with the visceral qualities of paint and become part of an active landscape that towers over and surrounds you. Within the current ‘Coast Paths’ exhibition you will see this idea being explored and developed in small scale oil studies on folding panels.
I live and work in Dorset, United Kingdom. Photo: Robin Mills