state of grace…

boy

First memories… the  Rolling Stones, Mick in war-paint, Jumping Jack Flash… and I was born in a cross fire hurricane. On my bike, I sailed the seven, tarmacked seas of hell stretching to all horizons that was the empty wasteland of suburban, south London and I was angry….would have killed you stone dead just for looking at me. 

Sometimes I stayed home and read the Beano.

summer Saturday in ‘68 a miracle happened…
we left London and moved to heaven…

…a quiet corner of a quiet village in south west Wiltshire, sunlight through summer leaves, dusty lanes and rolling in heavenly meadows with native girls and buttercups… 

…furled the jolly roger, the cutlass grew rusty…
I was a god… and it was good…
and lived…. in a

“blissful state of grace…”

student

I took a BA in Fine Art in the late 70’s… the worst art decade of all.

Strafed by Lichtensteins “WHAAM!” modernism died in a ditch dug by the industrial might of Wharhol and Koons….

The new anarchic, post modernist age of eccentric individualism starting with Basquiat and Schnabel was yet to begin….

Our college tutors lost in a fog of questions… after 2 years of that I stopped trying to find answers and  made movies, found some of myself in the role of Director….but was done with art…

explorer

…became a fashion photographer and roamed the real seven seas in 747’s, in New York on
Monday, Jamaica on Tuesday…

We learned that the medium is the message…. I wondered about fashion photography…clothes were chosen by the stylist to tell some story of her own devising……the model was chosen to fit this story…the tyrant photographer commanded her every move…”sit here, stand there, look like this, do as I say”…woman as object…still very Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton so beloved by Vogue…what the hell were they thinking???

Guy Bourdin

Helmut Newton

But this was the eighties and I had a better idea…how would it be if…?

….I chose models for their “character”, the model became the subject, clothes selected to suit her…to create a portrait of a unique woman in fashion…and most essential, as the Director, was to create that safe world, like the country is to a boy, where the subject can play free and fearless, as a child in a meadow…

…having re-invented the very nature of fashion photography I felt drained, the city crowding in, my cutlass too rusty, Art had left the metropolis already…leaving only dead things in tanks…I was still fascinated by that “blissful state of grace” and wondered if my own could be recalled in tranquillity…in paint…

painter

…left London…back to the country…bought watercolour paint…

Exhibited at the Bettles Gallery, Ringwood, Then in “Colour Rush” at Salisbury Arts Centre. Annual shows at The Royal West of England Academy and the Royal Watercolour Society. Was enrolled to Debut Contemporary for a year and showed at the second “Other Art Fair.” Then working with a local architect re-designed and rebuilt my house with a beautiful studio to work in…

artists talk to artists through their work…

patrick heron

Sydney Garden Painting, December 1989  Patrick Heron

Patrick Heron shared my love of colour but as an original gangster he still dreamt of an abstraction of pure visual pleasure, not fully understanding that good abstraction also has metaphor and allusion that make it rich and full with human spirit. 

Patrick never properly understood the value of his work was his absorption in land and garden and his work was beautiful because the atmospherics and natural light of the world filled all his paintings. For abstract artists, where you are is what you’ll paint….I learnt lesson one…..be careful about where you are….!

howard hodgkin

In Paris With You  Howard Hodgkin

Howard Hodgkin made paintings about the many emotional situations in his own personal “THERE” and “THEN”.

I make paintings to explore and pay tribute to the joy in our universal “HERE” and “NOW”.

sean scully

I thought about Sean Scully, living in Manhattan… in the 70’s he paints a pugilistic ode to the city…repellent, sour coloured, clashing, aggressive, crowded, airless, perfectly underlining lesson one….. where you are is what you’ll paint…the young Scully is all about conflict and the metropolis…not what I want…

Scully is a boxer… I’m a choreographer…and still directing…

I live and dance in the country…so there’s landscape in my painting but abstract painting allows for the landscape of this cultural moment in time…there’s the climate of my own thoughts and aspirations but also the climate of the world here now…

my moments of colour dance, buoyed and unhindered, translucent, transparent, untethered…. shapes freed to allow space between for the emotive light of nature and a different philosophy of thought to run riot…my light and colour has breathing space for that “.blissful state of grace” in our here and now…

I first found this state of grace in my youth…was fascinated to explore it in my fashion portraits…now its the subject of my painting….

Get out

Go on