06 Jun Thoughts on a Wednesday afternoon
Inspiration can come from anywhere – a place, a landscape, an urban landscape, an instinctive feeling. The urge to put these colours down in a particular order and in a particular way to create an object which thrills and hooks you in. How hard that is and that is what I’m trying to achieve every time I begin a painting or a collage.
Actually I’m not sure that’s completely true. What I actually do is play with colour. Find a colour I’m desperate to use and probably with it maybe two others that I’m desperate to use with it. Then through leaps and starts something hopefully quite magical emerges slowly and when it is done it takes my breath away.
I am sitting at my pc typing with my eyes shut and my mind as open as possible – bright colours dancing before my eyelids as the sunshine outside is so unbelievably bright. I can see magenta particularly – which is surprising as my front courtyard is an extremely bright shade of orange! There is sunlight coming from both my left and right – softer colours on my left – after all that is the north-facing side of the house and is in shade right now a long way through the afternoon. I can see as if in a square and it is darkish but not black with purples and mauves beside the magenta and aubergine. On my right is a much stronger sense of light: of yellows, oranges, greens, spring bright greens, the light is less intense, more warming and constant and calm. Colour can be so very very calm and still. Stillness to me is so important – the stillness of just stopping and being; in live theatre, between words or even between syllables, and between and behind the paint on the canvas.
So what are my ingredients or rather what have they been lately? Rajasthan – the trip around that amazingly colourful area of India has obviously permeated my work – bright bright pinks, saffron, oranges and deep blues; the arches of temples and the curves and folds of sikh turbans; the structure of castles on sand, of desert, and of huge contrasts of saturation in the bright light.
Trees – their graceful life has swept through me. I notice them as figures in my landscape. Urban glimpses – a plastic bin in bright green and deep purple blue, a red figure against hills, texture of wire or fence against strips of greens in the spring countryside. There is movement, there are layers, there are references to old paintings and drawings; there is chopping and editing and creating afresh from old canvases – the marks as if freed from being suffocated with others, now able to spread beyond the edges. And light is the essential part coming through, leading the colours to dance and sing and touch each other. A painting is to be seen, enjoyed with the emotions, felt with the hands – to convey joy in its own language –to know the painting as a lover gets to know their lover over many years.