Wednesday, August 29, 2012


"abstract composition" 2012,
oil stick and oil paint on board, 21 x 30 cm
What are you working on in your studio right now?

I am working on a series of small works, all 21 x 30 cm and three works that are 60 x 42 cm. I find it is simultaneously productive and undermining to work on a series; each work informs the next and they create a conversation between themselves, but at the same time you have to be constantly trying new colour combinations and marks out, making sure they have their own voice. This is partly why I work on larger works at the same time; it makes me look and paint on a different scale, which makes it harder to just become comfortable with one size and therefore disrupts the likelihood of copying what you may have done in previous works.

Can you describe your working routine?

I find it beneficial to go to the studio two or three times a day, in bursts of about three hours. I also tend to go in some days and just sit there and look at the works, sometimes not making a mark for a few hours. I have spells where I will make works and move works on very quickly and then other times it might take a lot longer.

Can you describe your studio space and how, if at all, that affects your work?

I am on the fourth floor of an old cricket bat factory looking North over London. The way the building is used and managed all seems a bit anarchic and I would say this has definitely affected the direction of my works in the sense that my painting process has become far looser. The energy in the building is incredible as it is filled with a few dozen churches, artists, a nightclub and a theatre group.

Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.
I start working very quickly, putting down marks in acrylic paint. I then use oil sticks or oil paint and work around or on top of the lines that I initially made. This process goes on for months and the palette in the paintings changes numerous times. I find the whole process of making these works extremely optimistic as any mark can be changed and it allows me to be spontaneous with my painting.
What are you having the most trouble resolving?
I think the majority of the paintings I am working on fluctuate between being sublime or grotesque. This is a point in my works I long to be at because it lends itself to so many possible outcomes. I love being challenged by the painting, so all works are always a trouble to resolve.

Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
I go through periods where I will paint with just acrylic or just oil paints. I think not knowing or perhaps forgetting how a certain medium handles or dries is key to creating a painting that looks different. Essentially, it increases the likelihood for mistakes or unusual things to occur.

What does the future hold for this work?
I expect the unresolved ones to slowly, in a way, complete themselves. I need to spend a lot of time with them, looking and letting my eyes figure them out and bringing different marks in where needs be.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you Valerie, It has been a pleasure.

"abstract composition" 2012,
oil stick and oil paint on board, 21 x 30 cm

1 comment:

  1. First off. I really like your work (or at least what I can see of it). Very textural, energetic and conversely subdued as well. Yin-yang, I suppose.

    I understand precisely of what you ask and respond too.

    Seeing as how we all work differently (sometimes from one painting to the next) there is no correct or incorrect way in seeing, adaptation, integration . . . etc. However there are a few things I'd like to point out especially when you wrote about "series".

    I used to work in series, in odd numbered groups, 3,5,7. . . etc, and created them all at the same time by keeping in mind a common theme.

    That was then.

    Now, I work totally differently.

    I don't contemplate the experience of planning. I just evolve with the situation at hand and "stand out of the way". I get rid of the "monkey mind", and paint rapidly.

    Studio is at home, nothing on the wall and am ambidextrous.

    Hope this small note helped.