Lower Bank Road, Preston

Landscape

I don't set out to work within a genre but since the label of landscape painting includes just about any work featuring the outdoors and this is the bag that they all end up in. My first landscapes were sketches done on holiday, nothing taken too seriously but then you start to get critical and realise just how tricky it is to paint , trees and grass and you begin to get obsessed. But the starting point need to be an affinity to the subject.

Something that attracts you to the view. For me it isn't anything obviously pretty but usually a place where something is not quite right. I like the desolate edges of the city, weeds growing in concrete, airfields, empty suburban streets, sunlight on empty cinemas, long shadows and broken white grass left over from winter, that sort of thing. I like decay and dissolution, maybe because it is caused by nature wearing down and then reclaiming the artificial landscape. Nothing is permanent. So with landscapes I am trying to evoke the same response in my paintings as in life. The best way of doing this for me is to try and reproduce what it was that attracted you in the first place. This approach has been widely discredited (slavish copying) but I have to say that its not easy and in any event does involve a fair amount of editing and expressive marks. If I find another way of working that does it for me you will be the first to know.