The art movement that motivates me most is that of the Abstract Expressionists, in particularly the work of Hans Hofmann, Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock. My recent abstract landscape paintings explore a sense of place, of interconnections, both fleeting and rooted, of landscapes seen and also of the invisible world. Brought to the surface with the energy of the brush, my paintings are spontaneous, resulting from a boiling pot of themes or concerns. I very often paint onto the canvas directly from the tube and my process is spontaneous, automatic, or subconscious in its creation.
Drawing has always been an important discipline in my working practice and essential for honing the eye on details which may later be descarded to allow for a bigger picture to immerge. I usually have some watercolour drawings on the go and make time to travel out in the field recording my environment (the forest, the sea or the woods), as inspiration and a palette on which to draw on for the larger paintings.
As a portrait artist, Rembrandt, David Hockney, Pablo Picasso and Lucien Freud, plus the portrait drawings of Hans Holbein influence me. I work from life, drawing directly onto the canvas after which I create an opposing abstract background. This background will act as a juxtaposition to the face. I am not interested in the details of the exact environment of the sitter, my aim is to draw the viewer to the person who lives through the eyes.
One of the most influential lecturers at Leeds, to my mind, was painter and sculptor, George Hainsworth. He taught me that you needed courage as an artist to break away from the mould. There always needs to be an element of fear in making work. I have never stopped experimenting with different mediums and practices. These are the drivers in my work.