Starting points for many of the figurative landscape paintings are small oil sketches painted on the spot and these are then developed into large compositions. Some of the small works stand on their own as attempts to capture the light and character of the Welsh border country near Hay on Wye.
I also use photography extensively to create a composition which tries to capture the spirit of place and a moment of light and atmosphere. Often many different photographs will be the basis of one painting
The Birmingham washing series are all based on work I did long ago at Birmingham art college when the old city was fast disappearing and they often seek a balance and tension between figurative and abstract.
I worked on a series of Birmingham stations and steam locomotives and another series of mining pictures which are all based on old images of the Rhondda Valley.
I also work on semi abstract cubist type paintings. The obvious dichotomy of styles which I use in these, hard edged and precise, concerns me a little in that it suggests inconsistency but I find them exciting exercises in composition at the least.
Over the past two years the paintings have become freer in style and have more colour.
It is worth mentioning that whilst an art student, a tutor and mentor , Will Wilder, taught me watercolour technique and showed me his remarkable and important collection which included Turners, Girtin, Palmer, Sandby et al. He spent most of the war a prisoner in Changi, built the bridge over the River Kwai and the Burma Railway and survived by imagining which pictures he would buy when he finally returned home. He did live to tell the tale and make the collection. I t was probably the largest high quality early English watercolour collection in private hands( now in a museum) and I was one student who was privileged to view it regularly.
This early influence of English art 1750-1830 must have encouraged me towards the extensive landscapes I seem to favour but I have lived on hills for 40 years too.