So, here I am painting in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Spain is the birthplace and home of many of my favourite artists - Dali, Picasso, Goya and Miro to name but a few. What I like about Dali, in particular, is that his location was almost irrelevant to the subject of his painting. Wherever he was, he painted what was in his imagination and this resonates with my own approach to the way that I work. As I sit in a café in a quaint Spanish square absorbing the sunshine and watching the world go by, I contemplate what's next for my painting. I'm still imagining worlds to transport me (and anyone who sees it) to a familiar yet unfamiliar world, incorporating creatures that we all will recognise and some that we will not.
At present, I'm finding myself increasingly drawn to the ecosystems in the Americas; particularly the rainforests of the Amazon. I am enjoying experimenting with, and creating, environments inspired by the diverse habitats of this part of the natural world. As with the little known and largely unexplored areas of the Amazon, I like the landscapes in my work to be untroubled by human kind giving me the opportunity to imagine ones where new species and exciting wildlife could flourish - fusing known environments with magical realism.
The above images show something I am currently working on in my temporary and inspiring Spanish studio (complete with its own resident gecko watching me as I paint and, I like to think, posing slightly in the hope that he might be immortalised in watercolour!) This piece is an original watercolour painting on handmade rag paper, it will be seven foot when it is framed and is going to be exhibited at the Mall Galleries this December for a wonderful event Art for Youth which is in aid of UK Youth. Art for Youth raises hundreds of thousands of pounds each year for UK Youth and 35% of all art sales goes towards this amazing charity.