April Fool

Artist's Statement

I have returned to full time studio practice for the first time since my student days and it has been a steep learning curve. with a solid academic background in art and education I have finally taken the plunge and its been just me and an easel for 7 months. April Fool is an exhibition to show case the fruits of that labour.

Recently I have been almost exclusively working in oil paint, mixed media has been my preferred approach historically. I had a longing to refine my control over this; the king of art mediums, and find my own unique way of communicating through it. Some mixed media has inevitably sneaked into the work but the approach I take even when painting purely in oils is very much informed by this background. These paintings have come about from photographs and sketches, they are created from projections and freehand mark making combined. Ever mindful of the importance of drawing I have attended life classes as a discipline. However, one can also draw on experience and sometimes there is a need to with draw in order to paint.

I have used traditional brushes as well as all kinds of implements to make the ‘right’ marks. Technology is a tool in my practice just as the drawing machine aided Dürer and the iPad got David Hockney all excited. The paintings attempt to communicate the experience of walking through the town of Chippenham giving days or even weeks of careful attention to a very fleeting moment. The paintings themselves at first glance appear to fit into a familiar tradition and yet they are constructed quite unconventionally.

As a celebration of this modest town with many lovely features this exhibition and the April Showers collection specifically, is designed to raise the self esteem of Chippenham town by saying ‘look, you're worth it!’. On a personal level the works are a portrait of my working day and its interruptions. The dog walk, the coffee run, the school run or the dash to the shops or market. Thus fusing art and life and reflecting on the challenges that dedicated studio practice presents. There is another, perhaps more eccentric collection of paintings with a slightly different slant, but you will have to come to my private view/exhibition to learn of those. Context matters.

Since opening my studio I have been delighted to be approached to do several commissions. Not only did this help solidify my professional status and give me confidence, I felt something of the old teaching buzz helping clients realise their intentions and memories. Acting as a conduit in this manner is a privilege and a challenge that I relish.

The results are for others to judge. As a student my discipline was Art History therefore my practice is informed and deliberate with clear intentions and understanding of visual language and historical context. I have just decided to join this ancient dialogue in the only language Art lovers truly enjoy.......image over text. I hope you enjoy my new images.


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