I love the empty spaces in an artwork, clutter disturbs me. I want stillness in an art work as well as a feeling of impending movement, like a frozen moment in time when everything is still but also in motion, sometimes gently or subtly, and sometimes with great power and energy.
It starts with a spark, a spark that ignites an idea, or a chain of ideas. This spark can come from anything, a piece of twisted wire found on the street, a piece of old textile, ephemera, a twisted branch, seaweed, a silhouette, a bent shadow, a curious object or another artwork.. mine or someone else’s or just a small part of one. I start a drawing with this spark which can lead to a pile of drawings. Sometimes the original spark disappears completely as the drawings take on a new direction, and sometimes it doesn’t….And sometimes a spark just appears in my head apparently from nowhere. The drawings that come from this spark are the starting point for a painting.
I have discovered that a mind free from thought is important when I’m working. Decisions are made but these decisions are not thoughts because they seem to happen without thinking. Thinking just seems to disturb and disrupt the process. I have learnt not to think while painting and to concentrate on just my sensory perceptions.
I believe everything contains a unique energy. An energy of its raw elements as well as retaining something of the energy of its manufacture and then it’s use. After buying a pile of old sheets in France I started to paint on them. Some had monograms embroidered on them and some were patched or mended, sides to middle. They seemed to have an energy and presence before I even started a painting that helped me. It occurred to me that these old sheets where imbued with something so personal and private and human. People had loved and been conceived on them, perhaps died on them, and dreamt dreams on them. Now I collect old sheets and paint on nothing else. I love the seams, the edges, the patches, the holes and the stories and energy they seem to contain.