Up until my latest exhibition my paintings were recollections of landscape scenes influenced by the ideas and methods of early 20th century abstract art. In 2020, once lockdown was lifted and my visits to the mountains could resume, I joyfully experienced those beloved landscapes again, seeing them with fresh eyes. So I have started to paint some new works, mainly in gouache (a highly pigmented, opaque watercolour paint), and for these I have returned to two other favourite genres; 20th century travel poster art, and the Japanese woodblock prints known as ukiyo-e, or ‘floating world’ pictures of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The paintings begin with photography and with colour and composition studies in a sketch book. I use the camera to capture moments of light, shadow and colour (even the surprising colours the camera sometimes reveals). Then, working mainly on very smooth white watercolour paper, a paper favoured by botanical illustrators, and sometimes on wood panels, the next step is largely deciding what not to paint!
For now, I plan to continue to develop these small works in gouache on paper, but my thoughts have started to turn to the question of whether they could be scaled up to larger exhibition pieces.