As a kid I quite fancied the romantic, Bohemian idea of being an artist. I expect I thought I could escape from the difficulties of maths and spelling. Maybe I thought I would avoid the judgement of the establishment.
I had been living with dialysis for three years or so, and the new kidney felt like a reprieve, a new gift of life. I felt alive again and I guess that has had an effect on my use of colour.
You could always go on changing things but there comes a time when you have to decide to stop.
I used to paint landscapes without any people in them but now I paint people who happen to be in a particular place. They might be outside a pub, or on a beach or in a studio. They might have clothes on or they might not.
I felt the need to get back to painting and I thought the best way was to start drawing, so I enrolled in a life drawing class. I soon discovered that people made very interesting subjects and I am still surprised that I had never discovered it before.
I never know what it's going to look like. Wouldn't be much point in painting if I already knew the outcome. I have a subject in front of me and I start flooding colour and making marks, I don't know, it's improvisation isn't it?
I think most people see drawing as subservient to the subject, a sort of meditation, a studying, a searching observation, in my case, for its own sake.
I've had to do all kinds of jobs to pay the rent. I've even worked in a Cornish tin mine.
I have never subscribed to the Dirty Pallet school of painting.
I tried to learn the violin for a while.
When I look at some of my old work, the pieces I find most interesting are the ones with people in them.
Painting is seen as picture making, the making of an art object, something that can stand on its own.
I have to experiment with methods and I'm trying to find an authentic way of making an equivalent of the living, breathing person within the limits of a single picture.
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