I will try to clarify why I make these paintings. I write this as much for myself as for all those who ask me what my paintings are about. Perhaps I have written about it before, but it helps in some way to try to put it into words. Although, when it comes to visual art, words can be misleading. In some ways using words is almost like using paint. The idea changes as I try to put it down. Is what I have written what I intended to write and does it clarify? As I said at the beginning, I will try.
First, I want to make something beautiful. Define beauty? Something that takes your breath away? I want you to stop. I want you to react as you would to a scene in nature that you see for the first time. But I don’t want to imitate nature and simply reproduce it.
I want my paintings to be unique and not to have existed in any form before I painted them.
Next, The paradox I’ve talked about before. I want you to be reminded of something when you look at one of my paintings. Something that you have never seen before and yet there is familiarity. I accept that it won’t always happen and that it could happen to one person and not another.
Third, I want to sustain your interest. I want you to be compelled to look at the paintings and discover new things as you look. Remember that the painting doesn’t actually change, but your discoveries, your uncovering of things that you hadn’t been aware of at first, will make it seem that the painting changes.
Finally, I don’t want my paintings to be thought of as ‘abstract’. Abstract implies that the painting is not about anything. Would you call a flower or a mountain abstract simply because they are not about something else? My paintings are themselves and not a signpost to something else. To misquote Avigdor Arikha, I want my paintings to communicate feelings and emotions. The unspeakable, not information.
Perhaps one day I will find a term that really explains. As I said at the beginning, words can be misleading.
You will receive another blog after I have seen the Picasso Ingres exhibitions at the National Gallery.
Please make a note in your diary that my one-man show, Inner Colours, at the J/M gallery on Portobello Road, London, opens on 15 September 2022. It would be lovely to see you there and you can see the real paintings. I hope we’ll have a chance to talk.
You are welcome from mid day until 8pm in the evening.
The attached image is of number 18, one of the paintings that will be in the show. I’m including it so that you can see how all the paintings will look when framed.