Largely self-taught, I am primarily a maker of visionary, and imaginative images, using the vehicle of colour to evoke other worlds, thoughts and emotions – to engage the eye in seeing perhaps in a different way, and to make an emotional connection with the viewer . The discipline of drawing underpins everything, and I gain as much inspiration from observational drawing as my more intuitive pieces of work.
I find that different mediums and supports give a different quality and focus to the work. For many years I have been using Bockingford Paper for my pastel and watercolour pieces. The very distinctive texture of the paper gives a 'sparkling' effect when the pastel is drawn onto the watercolour. But recently I have discovered Saunders Paper, which is finer grained and smooth, and this enables more detail, but also produces a spangly effect with the same process. I begin these pieces by painting on the watercolour, sometimes with no preconceived ideas, or at other times following an outline. I allow the watercolour to dry fully before drawing on top of it with the pastels.
The still lifes in pastel on black paper, use Daler Rowney Black paper which doesn't fade. It is very smooth and the pastels create their own velvety texture on it, allowing glimpses of black to show through, and creating a luminosity that is unexpected. I use Unison soft pastels for the most part, though with some of the colour ranges I need to use other brands such as Daler Rowney or Hobourne, or Sennelier, depending on the colour I want. I don't blend the colours but use them very boldly as marks.
The watercolour pieces use a technique of layering colour on top of colour, and taking off detail, patterns, etc using a damp brush. I use Bockingford Paper for these, as it enables me to manipulate, move and remove the colour as I work. Each piece takes a lot of time to complete as it's a long process, but the result is, I hope, really different, as the colours really glow.