When people ask me if I am an artist, I respond with ‘I am a painter’. This distinction matters to me.
In today’s world an artist can be anything from concept, installation, performance and more.
My only focus is to paint; to learn about paint, to experiment with paint and in the large part, to have fun with paint.
For me there is a craft in painting, which I believe is unparalleled. And I believe in craft, old-fashioned though that is today.
My work draws on the theory that the intrinsic nature of the world around us is alive. There are many ancient and modern theories that support this view. Many philosophers, scientists and creatives have written on the subject. Below I touch on where my influences come from for my landscape paintings.
My main influence is Hylozoism, which is a philosophical point of view that all matter is in some sense alive. This concept dates back to pre-Socratic philosophers. Ancient Hylozoists not only regarded the spirits of the material universe and plant world as alive, but as more or less conscious. Animism is similar, except that it tends to view life as taking the form of discrete spirits. Paganism draws on these concepts and in a simplistic term ‘venerates nature’. Pantheism, proposes that everything comprises of an all-encompassing God. Spinoza the philosopher, in his work ‘Ethics’, proposed that God and Nature are two names for the same reality.
In recent times James Lovelock, an eminent Climate Change scientist, has propounded that the planet, if left alone, can regulate itself due its own inherent nature of ‘being alive’. Indeed, other lines of scientific research have shown even inert matter has energy. Christopher Alexander, the architect, put forward a theory in his work ‘The Nature of Order’ of the living universe, where life is viewed as a pervasive patterning that extends to what is normally considered non-living things like buildings.
I work in most mediums, predominantly oil and watercolour and water-based media. I work in all sizes. I often use the natural raw materials found in the locations I am working on in my paintings. It is not unusual for me to use seawater, rainwater or ground up materials from the environment. More usually in my sketchbooks – they are messy affairs of nature.
My aim is to convey my work as an antidote to ever increasing urbanisation, globalisation and the current issues of climate change that this planet is facing. I also aim to help the viewer connect back to a sense of the earth and its natural power. If a viewer feels a sense of connectedness back to nature, earth, sea and sky when viewing my work, then I am happy.
I hold an MA in Fine Art, am an Associate Member of the United Society of Artists and exhibit regularly in London and the South East.