Monday, December 16, 2013


T'Bar, oil & acrylic on canvas, 35x25cm, 2013
What are you working on in your studio right now?

I’m working on a few things. I’m putting together a series of miniatures for a travelling show titled, ‘Wandering Museum’.  I usually work fairly small but these measure just 7x5cm and are the smallest things I have ever worked on. At first it seemed like an impossible task but actually I soon became accustomed to the scale and I am enjoying the challenge. I am also working on a series of small canvases given to me by a friend who is opening a gallery and wanted me to do something for her. I am working on eight, 25x30cm canvases.  They are still in early stages and I am just laying down colours and making marks.
Can you describe your working routine?

I don’t have a set routine but most days I try to start by 9am. I start by tidying up a bit from the day before, putting some music on, having a cup of coffee and a cigarette. I may do some preparation or something to loosen me up that doesn’t involve being too careful. My hands don’t work very well early on.  I work through until about 3 or 4 and I find that the best things happen in that last couple of hours. If I work much longer than that I start to get sloppy. Sometimes I allow some time at the end of that day to do something adventurous and experimental which usually leaves me keen to get back into the studio the next day.


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

I have two studio spaces, one is in the loft of my house where I do most of my painting and the other is a print workshop which is a shared space I use once or twice a week. Working in my loft is a solitary practice, I have time to reflect to sit and gaze at the work. A quiet space (when the children are not at home) where I can spend time thinking and working in a slow and more considered manner. In opposition to that, when at the print studio there is a social aspect, a buzz about the place. We share ideas and opinions and literally have to make room for each other. Both practices offer a release from the other.




Loft Studio
Print Workshop
Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.

I work in both print and paint. Etching is fast, direct and primitive, you often get just one hit at it. Whereas painting is slower, contemplative and allows for mistakes and change.  The two practices often inform each other and recently there has been a more direct relationship between them. A lot of my newer works have begun with a print, usually a monotype of some kind. When I’m printing I lose myself in the process and I can play, particularly with colour, without thinking about a finished image. Working in this way sets some parameters but also enables me to try out, relatively quickly, variations on a theme. I will take the prints back to the studio at home and work on them further with various media but usually with oil.  I may have ten prints of various sizes and different colours which I will work on at the same time.
What are you having the most trouble resolving?
At the moment I am struggling with canvas. I am coming back to it after working for a long time on paper. There is something about the edge that I can’t quite put my finger on. I have cut the canvas off the stretchers for a few pieces after getting frustrated with the edge, this has worked a few times though it wasn’t my initial intention. It is also the flex of the canvas that I often don’t like.

Top: Untitled oil drawing 2, 38x28cm, 2013
Below: Untitled oil drawing 3, 40x30cm, 2013
Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?

I do try to experiment as much as possible though I think I am starting to narrow down my use of materials to tried and tested methods and techniques. It is in print where I am still expanding my knowledge and trying out new processes all the time, there is so much to learn and so many possibilities. Saying that, there are some things that never change - I always work on a relatively small and intimate scale and etching is something that I will always do and has its own particular set of rules.

in progress
What does the future hold for this work?

I think the relationship between my painting and printing will become ever closer and maybe eventually merge into one.  It is impossible to foresee how this will materialise but this relationship is, for me, the most exciting aspect of my work. 
Is there anything else you would like to add?

I would like to say how happy I am to be taking part in a group show which has just opened at the Proto Gallery, New York. This is my first exhibition in the U.S and is alongside some wonderful artists. I would also like to thank you, Valerie, for asking me to do this interview. It is always interesting for me to reflect on what I am doing.
Frequency, oil on canvas, 37x28cm, 2013







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