About My Art
Since 2013, I have concentrated on making figurative paintings in order to depict the human condition.
The Influence of Technology
Patterns of Behaviour is a good example of a painting which portrays the ubiquitous need to be ‘constantly connected’.
Neighbourhood Watch, which was painted soon afterwards, focuses on the loss of privacy and the trade-off between safety and intrusion by the state.
Another large painting, Tetrapods, portrays cultural divisions.
In 2014, I painted Such As We Are, a picture about ageing.
It is also an early example of my allegorical work.
In 2016, I painted another allegorical painting, Against the Tide, this time in response to the resurgence of extremism in Europe.
More recently, I have made several other allegorical paintings representing youth and the loss of innocence.
In 2018 I began work on a series of historical paintings which are influenced by seismic events that have taken place during my lifetime. These works incorporate images taken from the public domain as well as those I have developed from observation. They are also a synthesis of painting styles accumulated during 40 years of painting pictures. So in that respect they represent a personal history of artistic practise.
In 2019, I have completed two large paintings, “Black and White and Red All Over” and “Formed in Fire”. These were made after witnessing events close to my home, and in particular the Grenfell Tower fire on June 14, 2017.
I mostly use my own photographs as source material, which is the case with those two paintings made in 2019. Although, as mentioned above, I occasionally employ images found in the public domain.
I use digital editing to arrive at a composition, a process similar to making collages. However the end result rarely matches the initial digital image.
I sometimes employ hand-cut stencils and transfer prints, but I do not use digital projectors.
Increasingly, my painting style makes use of free-flowing brushwork while paying close attention to drawing with the paint, something I have learned from studying the work of Édouard Manet.
My work forms part of a tradition whereby artists have attempted to express what it is to be human by concentrating on the figure. It is a tradition that has taken a serpentine path, and at times many have attempted to sever it, myself included.
Nevertheless, I strongly believe that figurative painting still has a fundamental role to play in the visual arts.
I have written a number of essays about my work.
- Figure Paintings, 2013 — How I returned to making figure paintings
- Painting The Movers — How I was talked into painting 47 figures, 13 trucks and 2 dogs
- Figure Paintings, 2014-2016 — How I utilised a new studio to paint larger pictures
- Neptune Paintings — How I reworked an ancient Roman myth
- West End Ware — How I fused Munch’s The Scream with retail therapy and Ancient Greek art
- Yet Another Spectacle — How I responded to Guy Debord and car crash photography
- Happy Hour — How a chance encounter with my son completed the picture
- Stencils — How I learned from Larry Wall and developed a love for Reusable Painting Objects
- How other artists influenced my work — How I fell under the spell of Turner, Rembrandt and Velázquez
My CV can be found here.