My work is about intimacy. I try to convey this firstly through the relationship of the objects to me, then to one another, and finally to their surroundings.
To quote Professor Richard Demarco CBE writing about my work:
“Her objects have at one and the same time a prosaic and dramatic nature, and symbolise the presence of human beings and the mystery of their daily lives. She instils English flavour into the still life tradition, and in her profound understanding and joyful handling of paint, can be likened to Winifred Nicholson and the school of St Ives.”
I spend a long time setting up a still life, putting things in and then taking them out. At a certain point it becomes irresistible to paint, and I start. I remain immersed in painting until it has a completeness. Then I have to change gear; take the painting away from the subject, consider all options, and make some small adjustments over many months.
Descriptions of images:
'The Small Card Table'
My tutor from Camberwell, Tony Eyton wrote a piece for me about this painting. “In The Small Card Table the red of the cloth dominates, and then gets picked up by the red of the flowers leading to the darkish green trees on the right through the window. They set up a dance which spreads into the whole picture. There is a freedom of touch which evokes a sense of a particular place in a certain light
'Chartreuse Yellow Cloth'
A dear friend of ours makes films in our shed and the cloth is one of his props. It is one dazzling colour one way – yellow and another the other way – a sort of green yellow. It was a celebration just to paint it.
'The Pink Cloth'
To divide a square canvas is quite a different challenge from a rectangular one. I referred to the Dutch School paintings of interiors for some help; if you make a shape similar in proportions to that of your canvas and put it in the background (the dark wall) then have a diagonal come in from the side (side of pink cloth) to lead you in to the painting, you will create the illusion of an interior space. Once I had established this structure in the painting I just enjoyed looking at the contrast between the bright light falling on the flowers and the dark back wall.
'Barbara Hepworth Hill, St Ives'
To get black and white into a painting, while still remaining primarily about colour is exciting. St Ives often presents this opportunity as in Cornwall we get black, black shadows and because of the way St Ives is orientated to the sun, a lot of colour.
'Blue Checked Cloth and Portscatho Window'
Every month I go to Portscatho to paint at Chris Insoll's studio which he runs as an artist’s colony. I get so much from this both to talk with other artists but also because the studio is upstairs and looks over the village. This gives you a wonderful lead out from the interior to the exterior with elements that connect one to the other.