painting and all that...


In my painting I use process and formal means to try to create a visual analogy for the process of living in a modern, complex world. The aim is always to make works that are enigmatic, contemplative objects, carrying a certain poetic power and at the same time to make something that is a statement of personal ideals and an expression of my sense of the disorderly~order around us, that is, the continual struggle between necessary order and desirable anarchy.

My techniques are a deliberate mixture of choice and chance as a metaphor for the way we live. Paint is applied in layers to canvas or board by rolling, dragging, printing, pouring, scribbling or any other method that comes to mind. These loose methods, random in varying degrees, are balanced against a grid or band structure.

The process then, is the core of the work. It is important that my paintings are seen as “Paintings” rather than “Pictures” as they are simply constructions in paint and sometimes collage that are expected to stand in their own right as an exercise in visual dynamics that should speak for itself.

There is the inescapable analogy of music with abstract painting, one drawn by many artists in the past. Music is totally abstract. It is an arrangement of sounds, varying in pitch and tone, arranged in a certain order to achieve harmony, rhythm and melody. The only place it can originate is in the composers head, in his imagination. It is exactly the same as painting if we substitute marks and colours for sounds. Harmony and rhythm are still essential formal ends to achieve and meaning exists in the intention of the artist or composer and hopefully in the eye, ear and intellect of the viewer or listener.

If music is still a viable art form, then so is painting.

“Practice  not doing and everything will fall into place”

“Do your work then step back,
the only path to serenity”

“We work with being,
but non-being is what we use”

“Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other
Long and short define each other
High and Low depend on each other
Before and after follow each other”

“A good artist lets his intuition guide him wherever it wants”

“Let your workings remain a mystery, just show people the results”

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching c500 bc