I make oil paintings on canvas, sometimes on board, and I also make drawings.
What drives you to make work?
I’m interested to see how a painting’s going to turn out, and while I’m away from the studio I will have thoughts and ideas that may feed into what I’m presently making - so this keeps me coming back to the studio to try and see if what I had only imagined or briefly sketched out could in actuality fit in with what I am currently working on.
Can you tell me something of your day-to-day working practices?
I get to the studio early. I tidy up – it generally having got into a mess after the last working session – this is a tactic I employ to get me into doing some actual work because it involves moving around the numerous small paintings that I have on the go allowing me to make connections between various images and to kick start making decisions about what I may or may not do to each piece. The actual act of painting itself is one of trial and error – of addition and removal – an open-endedness whereby I can ask questions about the act of painting itself.
How long have you been working in that way?
I’ve been working this way for about the last 8 years. Before that I was making quite large paintings but came to realise my realise that my approach to making paintings is experimental and varied, so practically it made sense to start working on a smaller scale, say on 10 or 12 canvasses on which I could try out a variety of ideas and approaches.
Which artists have had the greatest affect on your work?
As a 17 year old working weekends at a gallery in Harrogate, we put on a show of Basil Beattie’s huge physical abstract paintings. I remember them coming in rolled up and the smell of the paint filling the room as he unfurled them and put them on to stretchers. I know that this had a profound effect on me wanting to make paintings. Other artists that I have admired and continue to do so are Raoul de Keyser, Walter Swennen, Philip Guston, Mary Heilman and Prunella Clough.
What, outside visual art, informs your practice?
Walking and running somehow inform my practice. These give me the time to think clearly about what I might be struggling with in the studio. Bus rides can be good too.
How would you like people to engage with your work?
Slowly and patiently.
Have you seen anything recently that has made an impression?
A show I’ve seen recently was Simon Callery’s new work at Fold Space - it had a real handmade quality to it, stark and serious which I enjoyed very much. Also Walter Swennen at Domo Baal was extremely refreshing.
Do you have anything exciting on the horizon?
I’m in a group painting show at 402 Gallery in May, another group painting show at Charlie Dutton’s in June, and also at APT in October. And the artist Ross Hansen has curated and put together a small catalogue of my paintings which will be self published this month.