As an artist, I am very involved with the material process of painting. Right from preparing the surfaces I paint on, to the photos I work from, to the paint I use... every step is considered in a way that gives my work its identity.
Traditional oil paintings are made by stretching cotton or linen over a wooden frame. My paintings, however, begin with a surface of colour, pattern and texture by integrating fabric into the process of making my work.
After painting on cotton canvas for many years, I developed excellent knowledge as to what makes a surface good to paint on. With 10 years experience, I have developed a way of working with fabric that allows me to achieve a more dynamic surface texture, without compromising on the quality and longevity offered by traditional cotton and linen.
My work is all about layering meaning, as well as layering paint, so by using fabric as the base of my painting, I am able to integrate the story of the fabric into the story of the painting. This has become a source of inspiration for the way I work, but it also offers a beautiful textural contrast between the fabric and the paint. A benefit of this is you don't have to frame the painting, because the sides of the canvas merge into the surface.
I am very lucky to have been taught the benefits of using the best quality oil paint brands such as Michael Harding, Old Holland and Vasari. This experience and understanding has led me on to make my own paints using the centuries-old technique of grinding pigment into oil.
This starts as a traditional process, but it allows me to use more contemporary materials such as ground aluminium to make my paint. Making paint feels like an important way of understanding the history of painting, but it also teaches me about colour, a feature that is particularly important in my work.
I'd love to hear from you if you have any questions about the way I make my work. If you'd like to hear more, or see photos, please contact me here.
Oil on cotton woven with gold thread