I’ve just returned from the opening of a show of my work in a museum north of Toulouse. I think it went well, lots of people wanted to talk to me about my videos, paintings and prints, but it did seem a strange experience as it was the culmination of months of work creating new paintings and oddly, seeing them hung, I felt a little removed from the situation as if I were viewing work by another artist.

To help the understanding of the context of my work, I made a small speech (in French!!!!).

“- So, what do I paint?

I have an obsession with beautiful surfaces and with the contrast between light and dark, those works are objects that have evolved over a long period of time – months playing with paint in my studio.

Layers and layers of paint are applied and then rubbed away, many times. I live with the works and usually have a battle with them to find that elusive something that makes them strong images that hold the viewer’s attention. They are not easy images to make…

When are they finished? They really are the results of a long process, snapshots of a period of my life – akin to a journey and I have to decide when I have reached the destination.

– When I am asked by strangers what I paint, I usually tell them ‘lines’… obviously they expect something like: hills, people, flowers. But to paint a line sounds obscure… but it isn’t. All of these works have their origin in my experience of nature. I paint what I see with my eyes… I used to paint landscapes (evident in some of the large prints), now I paint zooms of landscapes, close-ups, but not taken directly from the tangible world, taken from my videos of that world.

The videos are not what you expect, they are not manipulated images, just video-walks in nature. Close-up images of grass, stones, rocks, water…

My paintings are based on those images, journeys in nature, but removed from our usual understanding of it.

– So, what will you take away with you from this exhibition?

You can view them as aide-memoires – something to trigger a distant, fleeting memory or feeling of a place you may have visited through the minutiae of nature: uneven, weathered stone textures, cracks in rocks, dry earth, moving grass and trees, drips revealing the passage of time – the elegance and simplicity of nature pared down to its essential components.

– I hope you enjoy the show and perhaps return to experience it in a quieter atmosphere and maybe allow yourself to be lost in the world I’ve created.”

The curator was very pleased with how it looked and has a few ideas to help promote my work… one of them being for me to exhibit at a friend’s gallery in Dubai – she thinks my work will go down well in Muslim countries due to its abstract nature – why didn’t I think of that?

Looking ahead now… I’m off to New York in a couple of weeks time with my wife; it will be a great opportunity to create a new body of work. The guy we’re staying with has some crazy ideas about getting me an exhibition in the Chrysler Building! Any building would be good enough for me!!