Depicting botanical imagery captured through the lens of a camera my oil paintings on canvas explore the middle ground between representational and abstract art. Photographs are the starting point of my creative process and act as a form of sketchbook – the inspiration for which most often reveals itself to me whilst out walking in my home region of Cornwall. Absorbed by studying the intricate details of a plant from the ground up, a shallow depth of field enables me to record the boundless shapes of a large blurred leaf in the foreground whilst focusing on one small, delicate and often unexpected detail.
Light is a fundamental theme in my paintings – an amalgamation of dappled sunlight bursting through the cracks and sharp edged shards of light cutting across the canvas. Originating from an earlier fascination with reflections in glass I have continued to carry these man-made shapes through my paintings today in order to add contrast to the organic imagery found in the natural environment of a forest or coastal path.
When putting paint to canvas mark-making becomes the central focus of my practice and I begin to play with the picture, editing, selecting and allowing the paint to influence me. A build-up of thin, translucent layers using a wide brush forms the ground of a painting, after which strict and controlled marks become entwined with accidental drips or splashes and large energetic brush strokes emerge from behind solid masked out blocks of colour. This history of marks helps to create depth in both the physical paint as well as the image as a whole, which is transformed from a collection of flat marks into a deep and almost tangible space.
Krowji, West Park, Redruth, TR15 3AJ