I started experimenting with weathering process on my work when I was using canvass as the base material, by leaving them in my garden for weeks or months, sometimes dipping the work in the sea as well. More recently I have been working on metal sheets such as copper and brass. I incorporate oxidization and reduction reactions through heat, acids and alkalis, in addition to natural weathering. These processes are applied to the whole metal sheet or targeted to specific areas. Mixed media such as pastels, spray paints and textural materials are then added to develop the image and texture, either on canvass or metal. Sometimes I scrape away materials to expose the metal beneath, giving a depth of reflective light. My paintings often incorporate materials such as sand or soil from the land or seascapes being painted, providing a ‘local provenance’.
In addition, I have been experimenting with chemical reactions to create my own pigments and 3 dimensional textures on canvass and metal e.g. mixing copper sulphate with bicarbonate of soda, resulting in a blue froth that solidifies, which can be used as a textural base e.g. for turbulent seas.
Occasionally I work with mixed media on a canvass or metal in situ, but I usually take photographs of the environment I want to paint – to grab the moment when lighting is unusual or dramatic – sunsets, clouds, reflections on the sea etc. and work from these at home. I also make sketches and create a colour palette to remind me of the scene and mood I want to paint.
The resulting images are not intended as exact records, like a photograph. My work gives an impression of the environment and is intended to provoke contemplation and an emotional response.