Artist's Statement

The Most  Enduring Influence on my Art


(Contains a summary of the artist's ideas and theories in relation to his Art)

 

Rock Art: The most enduring influence on my art is from the earliest European artists, the cave artists who left us all a rich heritage of fantastical sculptures and carvings, amongst them the Venus figurines; and mural paintings, examples of which can be found on the cave walls, in Rouffignac, Pech-Merle, and Les Trois Frères in France and Altamira in Spain: it is to these artists and their still vibrant works I continually turn for inspiration.

A recent influence on my work is the literati school: of Chinese and Japanese painting, and I find myself in agreement with their mantra of Calligraphy, Painting, and Poetry – as a description of an artistic programme.  These artist/poets aspire, through the practice of their art, to contemplate the changes that take place in the universe, in the cycles of nature and the world of man.  The purpose of their endeavour is to achieve for themselves, a feeling of identity and oneness, and to realise a sense of serenity, with the Landscapes, Portraits, Still-Life compositions, Birds, and Animals, they draw and enthusiastically paint. 

 A Poetic Sensibility: Those paintings which most fully express the spiritual world, the soul of humanity, a sense of the Divine.  I have never been able to shake off my childhood conviction that this world is a world of magic and wonder, and our existence here on this planet, and the existence of the universe itself, is somehow improbable, ultimately inexplicable and mysterious. 

My intellectual preoccupation as an artist: is primarily religious or philosophical and I am deeply moved and inspired by sacred poetry and ancient verse; no matter from what part of the world it comes or the culture from which it originates.

Drawing: The imagery I use in my paintings develops in drawings which in their initial stages are made from the simplest of elements: from point to line, triangle, square, and circle...  I tend to work in drawing books, and complete a series of images before starting to paint.  The images are obtained by a process of automatic drawing, (taking a line for a walk!) and after completing a number of these drawings, a theme, and a subject-matter emerges and begins to impose itself, more and more, onto the white of the paper.

 


My painting is centred: On the opening up of the imagination, and the images contained there’ in.  There are certain impressions that continually force themselves on the mind.  Using a visualisation/meditation technique I am familiar with, I contemplate the movement of my own thoughts, and watch as one thought is replaced by another in a cyclical pattern of continuous ebb-and-flow, growth, decline, and revival, as each in turn comes to the fore and is then displaced by the next.  What interests me is the movement of thought, not the thought itself, the dramatic movement from one image to the next.  The purpose of the practice of meditation is to learn to acknowledge the involuntary nature of these movements of thoughts, and through acceptance of this inner state of our being, to aspire to ultimately achieve a feeling of inward tranquility.  



The act of painting: is first and foremost a process of improvisation; going beyond any rule or formula, the artist empowered and invigorated with a raw and vital energy.  In my work I organise and give form to emotions on canvas; my chosen medium is oil paint.  My paintings are made by laying down the paint on the canvas in broad strokes of the brush, painting and repainting and scratching the surface of the developing image with the sharp end of the brush. My paintings combine discipline, extreme simplicity and the elimination of all that is unnecessary, so that nothing stands in the way of the intuitive grasp of reality.  As I paint the image changes and evolves, and the content becomes closer and closer to the responses and emotions that first prompted my imagination.  By reducing the composition to what is essential I am able to concentrate on the structure and geometry of the image creating harmonious shapes and pleasing designs.



Colour: Colours, lines, shapes and textures enable me to explore a wide range of emotions and concepts; the images I am creating are in the main poetic and intuitive.  The correct way to interpret these images is to ask how they make you feel, how they change your mood, do they cause you to relax or conversely excite and heighten feeling.  A patchwork of colours, lines, and marks, a gestalt in which the whole is of greater significance than the part, the complex of colours coming together and resolving themselves in the mind’s eye; an emotional intelligence is required to get to grips with the subject matter and to respond to the qualities of colour and paint.  Colour has the ability to penetrate and get to the root of what it means to be human, doing this by acting directly on our emotions.  And provoking in us a response more honest and in accord with our true sentiments, than, perhaps, our controlling intellect would normally allow.



The Philosophy underlying my Art Work: My art practice tends to favour an interpretation of art as a means to philosophical contemplation and self cultivation.  The objective of my art is summed up in the words: Salaam, Shalom, and Peace (be with you all).  In my paintings and drawings my ambition is to facilitate access to the world of spiritual experience, and that the images expand people’s perceptions of the world they live in; and are a window onto the great Eternity.  Providing a spiritual reassurance to people, that despite all appearances to the contrary, all will be well with our lives; that we live in an orderly and not a chaotic world, affirming the belief that in this friendly world life has a meaning and our lives have purpose.  Art is that enterprise whose ambition is to stop our minds from endlessly spinning, around and around, aimlessly wandering to and fro and out of control.  The function of art is to enable all people of good will, who are prepared to take the time to discover for themselves a enjoyment and understanding of art; to attain an elevated vantage point were all real or apparent conflicts and contradictions are in a special way resolved, and to find that fixed point of stillness within.

 




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Visual Art
Creative Thinking