I work with my hands! As a young child, I heard my father say this. At the time, he was in the process of building his own house. Even then, I knew that when I grew up, I wanted to emulate him, a self made man who seemed to relish making things from scratch.
As an artist, I think that the tactile nature of the craft is what attracts me. Looking at my life, I can hardly remember a day that I wasn’t involved in one project or another. When I hear someone say that they are bored, I scratch my head. How is that possible?
My primary medium is oil paint. However, I also assemble boxes containing interesting ephemera. Plein air painting offers a lot of inspiration. There is something wonderful about the process of dragging paints, brushes, easel and assorted other stuff out into a quiet spot where you make marks on canvas. Art history tells us that this was once considered cheating. Imagine that – well, I can tell you from personal experience that is isn’t as easy as it sounds. You have to contend with the wind, the beating sun, the sudden downpour and the insects, but even with all of that it can be quite gratifying. During winter months when the weather prevents this activity, I set up and paint still life arrangements in the studio.
Similarly, I find satisfaction in the designing and building of assemblages using found, antique or otherwise disused items. I am fascinated with the ‘once was’. Every item contained in these boxes once had a useful life, a purpose that now has seemingly been tossed aside. For me, everything old is new again.
I have been told that there is a common thread that runs through my work. Snippets of a kind of nostalgia can be seen in each piece, be it a painting or an assemblage. There is little evidence of the passage of time contained within.
As every other artist on the planet, I strive to create something original and beautiful. While it sometimes seems as though ‘there is nothing new under the sun’, there is pleasure to be found in the journey.