Art and Learning
I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and having worked in the Middle East and London, I eventually settled in The Netherlands. I studied painting for a number of years at the Vrije Academie in Rotterdam but am very much an ‘autodidact’. My mentor and my greatest influence has been Kik Zeiler, a Dutch contemporary realist painter of great standing. By studying his work and methods, as well as those of Bernadien Sternheim and others related to Gallerie Mokum in Amsterdam, I have learned to value the traditional techniques of painting in oils.
In a world which is dominated by technology and change, I am drawn to the fixed moments in time which evoke contemplation and inner reflection. People feature in my paintings as expressions of consciousness, thought and reflection. I studied philosophy at various universities and I am haunted by intellectual enquiry which can now find an aesthetic expression in my paintings. I seek harmony, balance and a sense of timelessness and for me a painting works best when it draws our attention, arouses our curiosity and creates a pleasing, satisfying feeling in the heart and mind. There may be many purposes to art but this in particular drives my creativity.
With each painting I try to apply visual intelligence to the best of my ability using all the learning I have gained from previous experience. Inevitably, during each working session a particular focus evolves. Sometimes it is the pressure of the brush stroke, at other times it might be the contrast or colouring. At all times I try to be conscious of the overall harmony and the contribution to the final product. Invariably, the final product is broadly similar in composition to the original idea but during the process it is never truly predictable as an outcome. The creative process is far too closely dependent upon the affective state of mind. The interconnectivity between perception and feeling, intention and technical expertise, experience and novelty all add up to a highly complex creative process of engagement and enjoyment.