The most exciting thing is beginning a painting - with no idea of where l’m heading.
I take a moment to quieten the mind and look at the canvas with no plans about how the painting is going to develop. Then, l dive in ! - scribbling, scratching, making all kinds of marks, applying transparent and opaque areas of colour, rotating the canvas and allowing activity to flow quickly with no censoring or attachment to any feature. I look and respond instinctively. Working this way keeps the painting open to possibility and chance juxtapositions.
It is the quality of spontaneity and surprise that excites me as the painting develops and considerations of structure join the dance.
The paintings are about the painting process itself - although l have gradually realised that in colour or line or atmosphere they often seem to contain unconscious echoes of places l know well - my studio in the deciduous woods of Sussex , bright water along the contours of familiar shorelines and gardens….so many of the winged joys l have kissed as they have flown by may be roosting in the paintings - perhaps revealing how it is to be in this fleeting life.
William Blake’s poem reminds me to let a painting flow and fly its own way and to keep a light touch with an open heart and mind.
“..He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
He who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise..” ( Eternity by William Blake )