'Bernard'. oil on canvas, 60 x 210cms, 2007
I approach my ‘Nature’ paintings in a similar vein, especially the work done on location outdoors, but feel that this is still relatively under-developed compared to my portrait work. I try to be completely open minded to seeking subjects, and often set-up to paint or draw when out walking, looking for that surprise in the banal. It often only reveals itself as you observe and translate what you see in a drawing or painted study. Also, the continued use of my sketchbook to draw just for drawings sake, has lead to my recent ‘Eve Of The Day’ painting and others which are just developed from drawings made of flowers in the neighbour’s garden, when I inadvertently find myself in front of something with my sketchbook. It is often only later when I’m in the studio and I have chance to reflect on my ‘chance encounters’ with the landscape that things start to suggest themselves as starting points for a painting. It’s about being open to these things and trying to avoid cliche.