I drew a lot when I was little, studied Japanese art at GCSE, but it was my dad who taught me how to use oils. For me painting is not a conscious choice. It’s more visceral; an itch beneath the skin. I paint mostly landscapes en plein air. It often feels audacious to attempt to capture reality. The Zen monks went a step further; they would meditate for hours on their subject, then attempt to capture its spirit in ink.
To create the painting is to destroy the perfection of the original landscape. It is the ultimate intimacy and severest estrangement. Yet the flawed essence of a picture is what makes it beautiful – the brilliance of nature tainted by the mind of man. Physical matter – land, water, sky – infused with the intangible – mood, emotion, thought. It’s the land seen through the prism of human perspective. For me, painting a landscape is simultaneously an act of perversion and an act of worship.