I focus equally on two aspects in my work, the first being the aesthetic quality, whilst the second is an attempt to capture an atmosphere connected to a place. I am interested in the notion that certain places have memories attached to them, and in the way that these memories alter emotions connected to, and perceptions of, a place. Although this is the basis for a lot of my work, I want the aesthetics of each piece to be of equal importance, allowing the work to stand up based on this quality alone. I believe strongly in trying to create work that supports itself by merit and does not rely on the idea or concept that it is based upon.
I am fascinated by the feel of woods and forests, especially the darker side, captured by Grimm's fairy tales, and in many ghost/horror works of fiction. In my landscapes, it is often the atmosphere and feel of a place that intrigues me, and that I aim to capture, as well as the aesthetics of the place. I see the places/scenes/landscapes that I choose to paint as 'backdrops' for what may happen within those places. It is the 'event' or 'story' connected to a place that more often than not leads me to being drawn to the place that I paint. I also love the idea of creating semi-real places that are made up of elements of landscapes/scenes from 'real life' (e.g. parts of the Norfolk countryside with which I am familiar), combined with elements from films/fiction; creating a place that is real, yet not real, and familiar yet unfamiliar. It is the juxtapositions and contrasts that interest me. This is what draws me to forests; it is the contrast between the 'natural' beauty of the individual trees, and the beauty of the natural woodland, with the uneasy feelings that emanate from forests that is captured within fairy tales and many ghost/horror works of fiction. I find forests both simultaneously beautiful and uncanny and eerie. This is the essence of why I choose to paint them...trying to capture all of those qualities at once.