NERAM Website 2012


Tree Mandala, 2012, acrylic, felt and sand on board, 91x108cm

SURFACE TENSION 2012 – New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale
Exhibition with Hayley Ward

I am essentially a semi-figurative landscape painter but my interpretations of the landscape have become more geometric and stylised over the years. I’m drawn to the simplicity and purity of basic shapes and patterns in nature, and the way that the constantly changing light and colour impact on them.

I am producing a lot of semi relief work at present where I extend shapes out from the flat surface of the canvas or board with felt collage. The felt has been coloured, moulded while wet, and then allowed to dry before cutting into various shapes . These shapes are then filled with plaster underneath to maintain their 3D quality, and pasted onto the canvas or board, before being covered with semi transparent paint layers. This results, as is usual with my approach, in the work being more suggestive of landscape, rather than a literal interpretation.

I hope to include some sculptural work in my next exhibition and am presently experimenting with lightweight mediums in order to produce a series of figurines and masks. These images will be reflected/echoed in the semi relief works to tie the exhibition together.

I have painted in oils in the past, and love the richness and depth of colour that results with this medium, but over the years I have found myself using a lot of layering techniques, and have discovered acrylics to be much more practical due to their fast drying times and versatility. However, there is some sacrifice with the lushness of the paint, as acrylic will inevitably dull down when dry. As painters we must always be open to experimentation, and through the failures which inevitably occur, we learn to seek new insights into our work and develop new techniques, thus turning negatives into positives.