I live and work on the edge of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, not far from the Wye Valley and the Welsh border. It is a beautiful part of the world steeped in history and frequently visited by artists for the last 250 years thanks largely to William Gilpin’s “Observations on the River Wye”, one of the first publications to coin the phrase “picturesque”. Following the Wye in the footsteps of Turner and Girtin is both inspiring and daunting in equal measure!
I moved here from Dorset in 2013 and the change is having a profound effect on how I work. Coming from the evocative skies and big rolling landscapes of Dorset to the enclosed surroundings of the valley and forest has made me pay more attention to the mechanics of a picture; how a scene is lit, how the compositional elements are arranged, the mindful balance and juxtaposition of colour. Whilst I will never tire of painting the Dorset countryside, the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley have offered me something new, exciting and challenging.
As I paint English landscapes, I use wherever possible materials that are made in the UK. For example, oils that are made by a London paint maker in small batches to ensure that the characteristics of each pigment are maintained; brushes made by hand in Yorkshire etc. In short, materials that are made by people who put as much time and effort into making them as I do into using them.
My work explores the notion of the picturesque within the romantic and nostalgic tradition of English landscape painting. I see nature as a wonderful, intricate and beautiful thing and I expect nothing less from my pictures.