Most of my painting is carried out in my studio, working from sketchbooks full of information gathered currently and over the past thirty years.
My paintings of Wales are inspired by the wild mountaineous areas of Snowdonia and in particular Llanberis. A brutal glory of sculpted landscape on a heroic scale, precipitous rock strewn slopes, deeply glaciated cwms, jagged summits under inky skies and the spikiness of dew jewelled reed.
Forbidding harsh and claustrophobic with the towering heights echoing with the voices of unseen climbers. Mans presence and the evidence of his sometimes fruitless struggle to extract mineral and slate and earn a living through his animals and cultivation is very important. Difficult terrain and the elements have been an ever present obstacle, but buildings and walls remain, often in ruin, recolonised by nature with blind eyed openings.
The mood and drama is paramount and I want the viewer to be compulsively struck by the thought that it could only be Wales even if the image or a large portion of it is non representational, this means that the abstract must support the idea. There is obsession with the textures and forms of the buildings and landscape riven by the corrosive forces of wind and rain, and with the fickle changes of light and shadow on faceted surfaces.
It seems natural that the medium is predominately water based, sometimes in a traditional manner but more often in a new more adventurous and unconventional style, as this reflects the way the elements were created. Capturing these textures involves constant experiment to exploit uneven drying combined with frequent washing out, and the staining quality of some pigments. Water colour is considered difficult and subject to punishing vagaries, more positively the accidents don’t happen…they are created. Out of the chaos of grainy texture, judicious darks suggest the reality of the subject.