The paintings below featured in my first solo exhibition, Hot Diggity! (read about it here)
Indian ink, watercolour and gouache on board
41.8 x 29.6 cm
The mystical atmosphere in this piece is created by the light casting shadows on the balcony railing contrasted with the indoor space on the left of the image which is framed by a heavy red curtain. The sailor seems to be caught in the middle, wondering about something he is not currently taking part in which is taking place 'out there' in the right hand side of the painting. He might be remembering something or perhaps looking to the future and wondering whether something is possible. Whatever it is, in this image he is in an 'in-between' state of involved contemplation signalled by the intense black hatching that frame his figure. The setting is distorted and mixed up and the colours are heavy and rich - whatever it is he is thinking about, it is weighing heavy on him, which he tries to offset with his nonchalant pose and beer-drinking.
(with hand-painted, upcycled custom frame) £645.00
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Fields of Athenry
Acrylic on board
29.6 x 41.9 cm
This painting was inspired by thoughts on the solitary process of painting; the constant and often unglamorous work that happens continually out of sight. In the painting, a man goes diligently searching in the night for something to nourish him and his dog. Where I knew that the painting was inspired by thoughts on the hard work of painting and the search for inspiration, I also felt that there was something more to the image. I knew the idea had come from somewhere defined or related to something specific, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. For three days it remained a mystery until it clicked: There was a song I was learning at the time called ‘Fields of Athenry’ by The Dubliners. It’s a sad song about a man who is sent to prison for stealing someone’s corn to keep his children alive and there is one particular line which struck me: ‘You stole Trevelyn’s corn, so the young might see the morn, now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay’. I had been thinking that line through over and over and I think the image of this man going off into the night is based on that line. The man’s face posture acknowledge that there is a risk involved. The pursuit of one’s own ideas requires courage - the journey, taking place at the threshold of the unknown is one without security or defined results. The encounter with the self is not always pleasant and sharing work leaves you exposed to others’ judgement. Despite all this, we know what we have to do and we must do it, otherwise something starves.