Bridgegate, 12.5 x 19cm, Oil and wax on panel, 2012
What are you working on in your studio right now?
I’m currently making paintings and drawings for a UK show in December 2012; small to medium sized work which continues a dialogue between metaphor, architectural space and recalled places.
Can you describe your working routine?
The availability of my time is quite fluid so one week I might find myself working through the day and the next I’m in the studio in the evenings, which I prefer. When I’m in the studio, I’m moving between a number of paintings at any one time; things can happen within one picture that will have a direct correlation to it’s neighbour in terms of communicating when a painting may or may not be finished. I’ll usually have a radio on somewhere in the studio, generally streaming on my laptop. I like to have access to the internet as I’ll often break off from painting to read an article or interview online, or try and decide which catalogue from a past exhibition I’m going to try and track down next. I also drink copious amounts of tea in the studio. When I’m finished, brushes are cleaned, slabs are wiped clear and any detritus from the session is bagged so I’ve a clear run at things when I next get back in.
Can you describe your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?
Until recently, my studio was located in a converted 18th Century hops storage warehouse. I’ve now relocated to a purpose built studio space that is more conducive to making the kinds of paintings I want to. The walls of my studio are bare apart from the paintings I am working on. There is a period of adjustment going on at the moment so it’s too early to tell if the space will have a direct impact upon the work. What has been affecting matters is the spaces I have been working in at Worcester Cathedral as part of an ongoing residency there. The muted and sparse nature of the architecture there appears to be feeding into how recent work is evolving.
Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.
I seldom have a pre-conceived idea of what any painting will end up looking like. Paintings are started then paintings falter or grind to a halt altogether; this prompts a continual adjustment and re-evaluation of compositional concerns as well as issues regarding the physical construction of the work. Often, I will obliterate what I’ve been working on for a few months because the essence of the search has been lost; by this, I mean the failure of certain images is essential to resolving others. I work on at least 15-20 paintings at any one time. The nature of my practice means I work slowly (paintings can take anything from six to twelve months to complete). This means that in order to co-ordinate any meaningful body of work, I have to have many concurrent works in progress.
What are you having the most trouble resolving?
Too many things to mention. Some older images, some new.
An Ideal Doubt , 2011 25.5 x 30 cm Oil on linen
Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
I incorporate various materials into my paintings; wax, whiting, marble dust for example. Sometimes they are mixed into oils while at other times they are applied to the surface of the painting. I enjoy grittiness and accumulation; paintings interest me when you can see the risks the painter has taken. Some of the best work I see is anything but pretty. I’m drawn to integrity of content when it collides with material experimentation.
What does the future hold for this work?
Not sure; that’s why I continue making paintings…to find out.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Just to say thank you to Studio Critical for asking me to take part and also to family and friends.
This Broken Seam (Foundation VI),
26 x 31.5cm, Oil on linen, 2012