My first influence, after the advent of the internet, was a young Japanese artist called Buna, (Masato Takahashi) who uses music, dance and dramatic movement in his live performances (2008 and on), to create his paintings; his strokes directed by his movements and emotions. His work gave me a link between my first loves of music, dance, and painting.
To keep the life in my work, I allow for change, in the process of making it. My work is an exchange between me and my subject. Most work I produce is expressionistic and mostly semi-abstract, though it varies with subjects, particularly the sheep paintings which are totally different to my usual work.
I have a 'guerrilla' approach to printmaking – in that I use what I can find, without preconceptions of perfection. Accidents are welcomed, and half of the process is the mystery of what will emerge; those discoveries which carry the work forward, keep the exchange going, keeping it alive.
Most works are based on nature, patterns in nature; the apparent randomness of it, but its innate knowledge of its own determined, genetic direction is what always surprises me. A large body of work came from the collection and study of stones from a nearby beach. I suspect that the object brings with it, its own history, and makes itself known.
After working with the stones for the first three years, it seemed that they were organising their own progress, and ideas flowed smoothly from them, evolving into a series of paintings, prints, videos, and animalistic works about their creation.
I recently found this quote by Xavier Seguin, which delighted me after the fact.
"The stone has many secrets to share with us. This is not book knowledge, this is intimate knowledge. The flesh of the stones. Their mouth sticking to our ears. Their consciousness infinitely slower than ours can become a memory and send us images, sounds …
It first talks of its origin. Coming from a wall or from a road, megalith or pebble, every stone remembers forever its original quarry, and the precise position it had.
I mean its orientation. Each stone has a zenith and a nadir, its positive and negative poles, and four cardinal points. Learning to read the memory of stones, this means first learning to read this first information layer, regarding the stone itself: its original orientation, its nature, age, etc. Every stone is polarized.
Then we can reach a second layer of information, containing the geological memories, floods, furnaces, earthquakes, and the accidents occurring to the stone itself, bursting, peeling, polishing, hammering, burying, etc......" Xavier Seguin, The Eden Saga.