My paintings are concerned with the search for expression of the inner life of a subject, revealed from within the material form. For me, the physical world is a doorway through which one gains accesses to the mysteries of the inner world. It is through the alchemy of the union of these inner and outer realities that the inner beauty of a subject is revealed.
Painting for me is thus a pilgrimage in which the artist, by working outwardly with the raw pigments and disciplines of the craft, one participates in the inner contemplative nature of the work. Art is this an outward expression born of inner contemplation. Creativity thus takes on the role of ritual or meditation whereby primordial matter, (expressed through the raw pigments) is transformed, revealing the hidden face of beauty from within the darkness of matter. The techniques and tools of the craft function as sacred vehicles, facilitating the transformative nature of the work.
For me the image of a painting is not something which the artist imposes onto the surface of the canvas, but rather the act of painting is in itself a process whereby the soul or ‘beauty’ of a subject is gradually made visible from within the layers of the paint; it’s as if the image of the painting has already existed since the beginning of time, and the process of painting is a process of revelation whereby the hidden (primordial) face of beauty is made visible from within the raw materials of the work.
My paintings are constructed from pure pigments extracted from rocks and plants. Using a system of glazing methods which originate in the late 15th century, light and shade are gradually generated from within the layers of paint. Out of this tonal composition colour is later applied in thin layers of glaze. Working in this way, from darkness towards light, the image of the painting is gradually revealed – it’s as if, through the stages of the work, the veils of shadow are slowly lifted to reveal the inner life of the subject from within the paint.