Walking and being immersed in the landscape brings a connection to its integral beauty and its value to our mental and physical health. Through these walks I absorb the sights and sounds the landscape of Somerset and elsewhere brings to my mind, as I consume the imagery for my painting and printmaking. Lately I have expanded my printmaking with rock powder, obtained from the rocks and materials collected from my walks, using them as pigment to form new ways of layering and forming landscape art.
Through the sciences of geology, chemistry and biology, I explore the obscure aspects of the landscape and its effect upon our perception of reality and its links to our past, the moment and where it is heading, particularly concerning the environmental aspects and our effect upon it through the industrial age and our current post-industrial digital age.
Many artists have sought inspiration from the landscape and walking, including: Wordsworth, Coleridge, Hardy, Richard Long, Dr Mike Collier, Paul Newman, Deborah Westmancoat, Georgina Towler, Jenni Graham, Sara Dudman RWA, Andy Goldsworthy, David Bomberg, Michael Andrews (with his painting ‘Thames Painting: The Estuary’ a particular inspiration for me during my time in Cyprus) and many more. Nature inspires new thoughts, ideas and ways of seeing – including current research from the British Medical Journal revealing the effect on our health being with nature and the value of exercise.
These new paintings explore various influences coming from my walks in the landscape, either from rocks I have seen, cliff faces, caves, old walls, planet surfaces, moons, peeling paint and objects left to the elements of nature, bringing their own aesthetic to the object and the image. These explore Zen inspired practices and landscapes resonating with the great Chinese and Japanese paintings of the past.
These explore the intervention of the artist with the materials, in this case rock powder taken from rocks collected from Watchet, Somerset and Soapstone powder, working with the natural consequences of chance, accident and natural forces of nature (maybe even those tiny microbes in the seawater and collected snowfall water added to these paintings).