Scripture

In 2001-2  I was asked to work on the St. John’s Bible. It was the first handwritten and illuminated Bible produced sine the medieval period.  I was asked to develop several ideas for illuminations for the project none of which were used except for an illumination at the end of Acts of the Apostles.  I was disappointed but the sketches and notes I made have re surfaced from time to time and evolved into paintings.

 

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American Visions

 

 

In 2010 I was fortunate to spend three months in Florida. Fortunate in many ways, fortunate to meet my future wife, fortunate to experience the U.S. again and see how American culture had changed since I lived stateside in 1976 and fortunate to have time to paint. I have always loved to look at paintings and my career was in art but I never painted in the purist sense of the word. I probably never would have but for my future wife.

We were talking about art and I was waxing lyrical about the painters I liked and she said why don’t you paint?  It was as if I had just heard a funeral bell toll, a silent tumbleweed moment. I came up with a myriad of excuses but I suppose I felt daunted by the prospect. Intimidated even. Ce who was herself an artist was having none of it and so we got some canvasses, acrylic paints an easel and brushes. My first strokes were hesitant, un sure and that was strange to me because in my day job my art was completely confident and assured.

I have always liked American culture and the what is now almost clichéd iconography.  The diners, blues and country music, old pickup trucks. These paintings were a fusion of emotional reactions to my surroundings, meeting and falling in love with my wife  and memories of my previous times as a teenager in Memphis.

The experiment, for that is what it was, worked.  When I returned to England I had the strongest desire to paint and so a journey began which has proved an interesting and challenging one and  so it continues but it really started with American Visions.

ASJ

 

 

 

 

Solstice and Landscapes

The English countryside is to me quite sublime. Coming from London to Dorset as a child was fantastic. My favourite month is May but there is nothing quite like the landscape of Wessex on a warm Summers evening. The light is golden and the shadows long. Back lit meadows and ancient hedgerows whisper of a millennia of harvests. Red moons and gold suns appear like old friends, comforting and familiar. Sitting in the realm of the Hare and the Badger bathed in golden hues one can consider one Blessed.

barnaby’s garden & shed

As you will be aware I like to just paint. I am not conforming to any style, tradition but paint by instinct. I see something, I like it, I paint it. It really is that simple for me. These paintings developed a life of their own as I began to paint.  I saw a shed and it fascinated me, it’s shape and form. It was one of those sheds you find all over England.  Cobbled together with odds and ends and eccentric. This one was part of an old railway truck with corrugated tin covering it. The greenhouse was mine. I like greenhouses and sheds they have a particular smell and they offer a particular stillness.

Cats, Cats and more Cats

I like cats. We always had cats when I was growing up with names like Mrs Sippie, Whiskey, Tigger and Scripsit they hold an endless fascination. A bit like Chickens really, I could watch them all day. One cat of mine would sleep on my shoulders whilst I painted. I like their independence and their particular character and I never tire of painting them.

Scripture

In 2001-2  I was asked to work on the St. John’s Bible. It was the first handwritten and illuminated Bible produced sine the medieval period.  I was asked to develop several ideas for illuminations for the project none of which were used except for an illumination at the end of Acts of the Apostles.  I was disappointed but the sketches and notes I made have re surfaced from time to time and evolved into paintings.

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Solstice and Landscapes

The English countryside is to me quite sublime. Coming from London to Dorset as a child was fantastic. My favourite month is May but there is nothing quite like the landscape of Wessex on a warm Summers evening. The light is golden and the shadows long. Back lit meadows and ancient hedgerows whisper of a millennia of harvests. Red moons and gold suns appear like old friends, comforting and familiar. Sitting in the realm of the Hare and the Badger bathed in golden hues one can consider one Blessed.

Hares

One of the joys of living in the countryside is walking in the early evening. If you are very lucky you might get to witness one of the simple wonders of life. The Hare, that most ancient and mythological of English creatures. Watching these magical creatures playing in a quiet corner of a field is mesmerizing, it is like listening to a lark ascending. They are shy creatures and so to see them is an honour. One evening I was sat on a five bar farm gate watching the sun slowly sink towards the horizon. Swallows were flitting about and I saw two Hares come right past the gate, for a moment they stopped and looked at me, then they continued on their way into the field and put on a show that was just a delight. They jumped over each other, boxed and played. It is a moment that I will never forget and these paintings express the joy I felt through colour.

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TriBeCa

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I first went to NYC in 1984 on a four day art residency. At the time I was living in a small hamlet of about 20 estate cottages. My neighbours were sheep. It was a pastoral dream. Going from this environment into Manhattan was a culture shock to say the least. I was born in London and have visited many other big cities and so this big city was no new thing but the Big Apple was something else. The energy was electric, the people eclectic and in the city that never sleeps I felt energised and alive. I have loved the city ever since and find it endlessly inspiring.