I have always produced strong imagery working from a Fine Art background. After living in Dublin, a brief stay in New York City and now being based in London, it has given me the opportunity to find out what mediums and painting processes I am most passionate about.
I currently use current print media imagery and advertisements as a starting point for my figurative paintings. I feel that my work represents the original theme in Pop art from the 1950’s, using contemporary images in a contemporary manner. Although I use media imagery as a starting point, I do not intend to create familiar or aesthetically pleasing paintings. Each painting is completed from an interest in the action of painting.
I am constantly collecting images from print magazines, whether I am working on an on-going series of paintings or not. I choose an image which to me is solely strong in form, this is most important for me to produce a strong painting. I use images which the media choose to represent modern times and my choices then represents an interest in strength of imagery not necessarily the subject matter. Using acrylic on canvas allows me to achieve the right colour pallet for my large-scale paintings.
Every few years I carefully select and group images together. I work on tracings and drawings for months at a time to manipulate the images, and then continue through to painting. As I work on each image, I minimise details and line as I am very interested in minimalism and abstraction.
The most important aspects in each painting are line work, colour, and composition.
I use primary and secondary lines to convey harmonies between negative space. I draw on primed canvas and throughout the painting process I will paint over some of the initial line work. I can sometimes leave these lines visible through the layers of paint.
Colour and the mixing of colour is extremely important to each painting. I mix some paint in pots which have not been cleaned in over fifteen years, I never use paint straight from a tube. Even the whites tones I use contain red, yellow, or brown in its mix. Sometimes I will mix paints on the canvas itself. As the size of the canvas I use get larger, I still use brushes no bigger than one inch. Each paintings black line work is completed using black board [chalk board] paint, I enjoy its fluidity. The entire painting is finished with a light layer of artist gloss to bring out the colours further.
I am very interested in composition elements of a painting; using formal or informal composition to balance or off balance each painting. In a lot of my paintings I will off centre the figure.
The number of paintings to a series can be anywhere from three to twenty. When I am in the middle of a series, I will decide how far it will go and how many paintings will be made. A theme will run through each series without the paintings necessarily looking like they are in a series. For the series to be completed there needs to be a resolve of an idea or ideas.
Although the initial series of drawings may be large. I tend to keep looking at the series of drawings during painting each piece, and only choose what I think are the strongest images/ figurative forms to turn into a painting to add to the series.
Although my paintings are more commonly compared to Pop Art because of my use of a black ‘comic book’ line, it is in fact a style inspired by the drawings of Picasso and Matisse, whose use of strong line work firstly captured my attention in the late 1990’s. In the past I have created series’ of paintings dealing with Japanese advertisements of the 1920’s, Silver Screen film still’s and Fashion photography of the 1960’s.
Over the last twenty plus years my work has evolved with the use of contemporary images which I have used to forward ideas. I am very interested in portraying figures in a contemporary manner, my paintings have been compared to many different art genres, from Realist to Pop Art, Fashion Illustration and even Art Deco.
My recently completed series ’Linda’ and ‘Binary’ dealt with embracing and disrupting formal composition. For the first time in 2020 I chose to paint mixed white backgrounds in certain pieces. This work earned an online review in 2020 from Dab Art Co. in Los Angeles and an inclusion in their 2021-23 Artsy show. Also, in 2021 the work won a Distinguished Award from Canada’s ArtAscent magazine and a Finalist Award from Los Angeles’ Art Show International.
My current series ‘Sw16’ is named after the postcode where I am based in London, this current series is based on fifty drawings. I am also working on a 3.6 meter painting, the largest painting I have worked on. I completed 200 preliminary tracings and drawings for this painting, of which I am use 3 drawings for the paintin