I paint to celebrate the magnificence of the natural landscape and to record our impact on it. I think of this work as a means to educate the viewer, and a way to reconnect the viewer and myself with our earlier history when we were so much closer to the natural world. I have been influenced by the landscapes of Renaissance artists, especially Pieter Brueghel and also by the American Hudson River School painters such as Thomas Cole. In Brueghel's work the landscape serves as a background foil for the activities of man whereas in Cole's painting the landscape is an almost scientific recording of awe-inspiring panoramic vistas. With an awareness of both these attributes, I am painting to try to engage the spiritual qualities of nature that overwhelms our everyday existence whenever we can stop and notice.
My ideas come from many sources, sometimes just out walking, often daydreaming about exotic locations through travel or natural history books and magazines. The title is sometimes an impetus for the work and the subtleties of text is sometimes used to add to the visual story.
I also paint to explore different processes, especially finding new ways to use different media and techniques. For instance I started as a printmaker and have always enjoyed how the plate looked before you printed it. Many of my paintings now have evolved from that experience, as the wood base is treated like a print or intaglio surface with some of the details etched into the surface of venetian plaster.
I find the landscape as subject matter almost limitless as there are so many layers to the realities of nature and our experience and attitudes towards it. I feel no cynicism in this subject, but instead a sympathy for the follies of man in his eternal struggles on the vast and lush expanse of nature and landscape.