I am working on two streams of ideas concurrently for the show. The first is the continued development of austere alpine landscapes. My interest in these paintings is the underlying geometry of the Jurassic dolerite that dominates the mountains nearest my home. Overlying the rocks with their hexagonal fissures is a fragile vegetation that requires a careful rendering to bring out its subtle beauty. I hope to achieve new refinements in my palette to achieve this. Sometimes I make reference to ‘the garden’ in my titles; I am always curious about the pursuit of design, or order in chaos, that defines a meaningful composition in nature.
The second stream of ideas is more lyrical and more figurative. These paintings are based on a landscape much closer to home, deriving from walks on the hills behind our house. These paintings employ a lot of graphic marks and hark back to my love of drawing, but are also about light and contain highly developed cloudscapes, all to heighten the drama of the experience of Nature. For more than ten years I have been referring to the work of Claude Lorraine, particularly influenced by his ‘portrait-format’ compositions with dark tree-forms framing distant views. The paintings in this exhibition continue my investigation into whether these traditional landscape compositional concepts still have any relevance.