‘I am not a ‘Landscape artist’, yet all my work is informed by the places and spaces it is made in. This is often the rugged, rocky rural and bleak coastal landscape of the St David’s peninsula in Pembrokeshire, where I live part-time. (This is a landscape I have known all my life, and is the landscape that inhabits my dreams). My work is also informed by the differently ‘rugged’ cityscape of Bristol , where I have lived (and still live) and worked for most of my adult life.

I make (mostly) wall-based works with a variety of materials on different surfaces:

  • I make drawings digitally with iPads and cameras and also with inks, graphite, pigment, paint and chalk on absorbent, handmade Khadi papers:

    My drawings are not diagrams or rough sketche , illustrative of something else that they will later become, such as a painting (although i sometimes make exactly that kind of image, often with a camera). My drawings are always meant to live their lives as drawings, not as forerunners or illustrations of anything else. I draw with texture/line and sometimes colour, making marks on paper or screen. Drawing is an immediate, responsive, spontaneous process. I enjoy the chaos and haphazardness of drawing. I draw on all sorts of stuff, every day. I always have. Anybody can draw anything anywhere, and , indeed, they do. Drawing is a great way of making sense (or nonsense) of the world. Drawing is a very available, democratic process, usually with quite a low carbon footprint.

  • I make mono and intaglio prints with etching inks on Somerset papers. These prints involve processes of embossment and absorption as inks, plates and forms come into contact with wet paper. Texture, mark and colour are important here too, but the process is different. Printing requires a lot of planning and preparation. Intaglio printing requires a certain amount of technical know-how as well as access to an etching press. I am thrilled to have these skills and to be able to work these big machines, albeit, since my stroke, I only have one functional arm to turn the press. I was in my early 60s when I acquired these skill. In some ways though, I have always been a printmaker in that I intuitively have the facility to realise the registration process that is needed for prints to work and I can very easily visualise the shapes and forms that the juxtaposition of different plates, objects and inks will make as they go through a press. Not everybody thinks in this way. This is about how I think about shape, form and colour, and informs my other work. I often prefer to spend time in the print room working on parallel projects before I can resolve a painting I am working on.

  • I paint on canvas and linens with a range of materials including eco-resins and both acrylic and oil paints. Painting on linen and canvas involves flow, spread, viscosity, saturation and absorption as well as the issues of texture, mark and colour outlined above. Painting involves layering scraping, erasing and scouring as much as it does applying materials to surfaces. I also paint on primed boards using resins; enamels; oil and cold wax. These harder surfaces do not absorb materials in the same way: the flowing movement of the paints, glazes and resins is faster and made more furious by the use of solvents. On board I use less brushes and resort more to squeegees, sponges and scrapers to move the paint around the surface, interrupt flow and give texture.

    All my work is informed by the interplay between the textures and elements of the environment, in juxtaposition with the textures; colours and properties of the materials I use. My materials are chosen with an eye to the sustainability of the planet and, wherever possible, are locally resourced. For example, I use local pigments when mixing oils and waxes, from the ochre mines in Clearwell caves and a variety of slate dusts and local soils gathered from around the Pembrokeshire coast. I print on Somerset papers, produced by St Cuthbert’s mill in Wells. The handmade khadi papers I use for drawings are imported from southern India, but they are all made from recycled T-shirts and other cottons discarded by the Western world. I do use commercially produced inks, oils and acrylic paints, but these highly-pigmented paints are produced locally in the UK by Wallace/Seymour in Yorkshire and the inks are organically-made Chinese calligraphy inks: mixes of ground fungi; soot and water. I use eco-resins made from Canadian maple tree sap. We live in a delicate, fragile world and my decision-making about which materials I use {which changes over time) involves a delicate and fragile and no doubt flawed weighing-up process of considering issues of fair trade and global development; issues of local resourcing and keeping the carbon footprint of this work as low as possible , whilst still working with materials that I love working with, that are as organic and sustainably made as possible. For example: the eco-resins that I use are imported from Canada. I have made the decision to use these resins as opposed to the more harmful locally-manufactured epoxy resins used by many contemporary UK artists: harmful both to myself and in their manufacturing process. Similarly many air-miles are involved in bringing the khadi papers I use from India, but I have made the judgement that it is better to use rag papers made from recycled materials and to support a cooperatively-run endeavour in Kerala than to use paper made locally in the UK in less organic and cooperative ways.

    I am not a landscape painter, but my work is informed by landscape, urban-scape and other environmental factors. I am influenced by both the context i am working in and the materials I am working with .I am particularly interested by the interplay between human beings; their environments and the marks left by humans (and other species) on surfaces. I am fascinated by the agency at play; interplay and flow of shape; colour; texture and surface. Thus my work tends to involve as much scraping, erasing and scouring as it does printing painting and drawing. I have a lot of fun. Play and agency are important considerations in the making of this work.

Whitesands cliffs: oil, wax, Chinese ink and pigment on Khadi paper: 100 x 140cm.

Whitesands cliffs: oil, wax, Chinese ink and pigment on Khadi paper: 100 x 140cm.