I want to explore the resonance of colour and light. My work is to do with a sense of wonder in the middle of the ordinary. Walking around the streets of North London, I notice the silhouette of trees against bright sunlight, the way chimneys glow in the evening sun, the rusty red of autumn leaves in the road. I am interested in the hidden, overlooked aspect of the city. When I see the sun shining gold through a leaf it makes my heart sing. In my art practice I question what this is about, I find myself trying to capture the colour or glow that I noticed. I want to reflect back what I have seen so that the colours resonate the way they did when I noticed them. This takes me into the realm of abstract expression, but the form of trees still remains an anchor point, represented by the vertical brush-strokes.
The Bright Field is a series of paintings inspired by the RS Thomas poem (see below). I noticed the sun shining on a bright field with the trees dark in the foreground and thought of the poem and knew I wanted to paint it. Now every time I swim in Hampstead Ladies Pond I am reminded of the Bright Field as I look through the trees.
I started painting oil on canvas but my recent work has led me to carve images of trees into plywood, acrylic paint layered and chiseled, giving depth and texture.
The Bright Field
I have seen the sun break through to illuminate a small field for a while, and gone my way and forgotten it. But that was the pearl of great price, the one field that had treasure in it. I realise now that I must give all that I have to possess it. Life is not hurrying
on to a receding future, nor hankering after an imagined past. It is the turning aside like Moses to the miracle of the lit bush, to a brightness that seemed as transitory as your youth once, but is the eternity that awaits you.
R S Thomas
List of Paintings:
Bright Field iv - Acrylic on carved wood
Bright Field v - Acrylic on carved wood
Bright Field - Oil on Canvas
Bright Field iii - Acrylic on Wood
Resonance - Acrylic on Wood
Morning Light i
Morning Light ii
Morning Light i - work in progress
Bright Field ii - Acrylic on Wood - SOLD
Bright Field iii - Oil on Canvas - SOLD
Bright Field iv - Oil on Canvas - SOLD
Paintings and Prints are for Sale, please contact - email@example.com
Song of the Trees
I am struck by the way trees have a magnificent presence throughout the year. They are the lungs of our city and hold a resonance – with all the noise of life their presence is like a song.
FLOWERS OF LONDON TOWN
Acrylic Paint on Fabric
“Oh what a multitude they seemed, these flowers of London Town” (Songs of Innocence, William Blake)
I regularly walk across Bunhill Fields, the ancient burial ground, where the poet William Blake lies peacefully. His ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’ include a lament against child poverty -“The flowers of London Town’ . These ‘flowers’ are his reference to street children – a subject dear to my heart.
Walking through Bunhill Fields, I take in the changing colours of the flowers first the primroses and daffodils giving way to bluebells then the explosion of leaves on the trees – this place of death giving us a breath of life. It brings together different elements that Im interested in, especially the need for green spaces and trees as the lungs of our city.
Southwark Trinity - After Rublev
The idea for the 'Southwark Trinity - After Rublev’ came about a few years ago when I attended a conference about Diversity in Church. Dr Elizabeth Henry, keynote speaker, showed an image of Rublev’s ‘Trinity’, with 3 white angels. She commented that in most Churches even the Icons and paintings are white. The thought came to me that I could re-paint the Rublev Trinity, with black and ethnic minority angels. I asked 3 friends from St Lukes Church, West Holloway to sit for me and from these photos I created the painting ‘Trinity - After Rublev’ for St Lukes Church. This was borrowed by St Paul’s Cathedral for their service to celebrate Black and Ethnic Minority Saints in November 2016, then by Southward Cathedral for a similar service in November 2017. Southwark Diocese then commissioned me to paint a version, using members of the Southwark Diocese. They identified 3 people from Southwark to represent - history, story and legacy, in view of the 70th anniversary of Windrush.
The ‘Southwark - Trinity After Rublev’ painting was blessed as an Icon in Southwark Cathedral on 6th October 2018. It will remain in the Cathedral through October, for Black History month and the Windrush Anniversary, then will be on loan to other Churches in Southwark Diocese.
TRINITY - AFTER RUBLEV
My original painting - ‘Trinity - After Rublev’ is in St Luke’s Church, West Holloway, London N7 9RE.
IONA TRINITY - AFTER RUBLEV
The third version of this painting was inspired by a week on the Isle of Iona. It is still in progress, with an image of Dora from Uganda, Methodist Minister Inderjit Bhogal and Mia from Glasgow, to represent the diversity of the Iona Community.
New York Parks
The Isle of Iona
I enjoy hanging washing out to dry - this mundane domestic chore is transformed by the sun and wind into a moment of creativity.
At 90 years old my mum still knits her love into every hat or baby shawl. She knits every day at home and takes her knitting with her wherever she goes.
My dad plays the concertina, he plays simple choruses and old hymns, fingers dancing over the keys.