After a long career in higher education I discovered two new passions in my life in 2006: art and psychotherapy. I retrained as a therapist and have been continuously working towards improving my artistic output ever since that ‘Eureka’ moment. The most obvious connection between these two professions is the preoccupation with emotions. In my therapeutic work I talk about emotions; in my art I aim to translate emotions into visual markers on canvas. Much of my earlier range of work was influenced by my psychotherapy training; the pieces were concerned with memories and dreams peeling away at them layer by layer.
The work that followed were abstract representations of landscapes finding inspiration in the beauty of the outside world: gentle landscapes in the UK, the Arctic Circle, the warm and fiery tones of Mediterranean countryside, dramatic skyscapes and the movement of the sea and the dramatic beauty of flowers Viewers often comment on the strong colours that I use in my work. Observing nature offers the inspiration for the vivid greens, magentas and yellows that are frequently found in my work.
Try as I might I struggle to work in monochromes – colour always creeps in and takes over. There is a joyfulness to experimenting with colour that is very rewarding for me. In my more recent work I started to use artist pigments as they provide an even more intense colour experience.
Each of my pieces is unique and takes time to develop. I aim to lend as much ‘feel’ to my paintings as possible, ‘controlling’ the painting as much as possible while also allowing for more spontaneity and risk by applying paint in a variety of ways: smudging, scraping, flicking, squeezing and rubbing paint onto the canvas, scratching paint off and re-starting the process. The process thus mirrors the natural eroding process that happens in the development of landscapes.
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