I love painting animals as it is a way of accessing the secrets of the natural world, those things we can never know and fully understand about them as individuals. Animals are as individual as humans, but for me they manifest a purer and more genuine spirit to the outside world than do human beings. In my animal and pet portraits I try to capture each animal’s personal uniqueness and purity, as well as the character of the species they represent. A pet portrait is a true test of your skill as the owners are probably the only ones who can truly recognise that uniqueness in any depth. I also like to paint animals because I can be totally honest in my interpretation of what I see, - not always wise with human beings.
i am inspired by nature, it’s complexity, ingenuity, organisation and perfection. Inspiration comes from small things, like a far away look, or concentration, a tilt of the head or a gesture, which give you a doorway into a private world you can never fully know. You can read so much for example from the back of a head, the set of the ears etc., (animal or human). My art is an expression of my appreciation for the intelligence of the natural world we, as humans, neglect and destroy without a thought whilst calling ourselves civilised and superior.
I work from photographs so that I can concentrate on the process, which, tends to be organic rather than preconceived. I plan my composition and lay it down, all the while considering the possibilities using different approaches and mediums and which would be best to work with. I then jump with both feet having made a commitment.
I am fascinated by the colour representation of the subject, for example that a black dog can still look black even though it has bright blues, pinks, oranges and greens in its fur and no black on the canvas whatsoever, and the realisation that this is actually true to life. It is also exciting and great fun.
I hope my viewers are uplifted by my work and the hidden beauty and honesty of the natural world, its freedom of colour and expression. I would also hope they see in my work as an organic development rather than a rigid discipline of technique and application. I always have a plan but usually end up going “off-road” and making a diversion as the paints guide me, and would like the viewer to be drawn into that process with me. I have learnt from experience, the paint knows best.