This series is about water, the primary requirement for life on our planet and of central significance for all cultures, yet for too long taken for granted. Already the global disruption of the water cycle by climate change is profoundly threatening many species including our own and undermining the ecosystems upon which all life depends.
I am interested to find ways to approach the subject which are powerful and informed but not overtly illustrative so am developing strategies to explore the positive conceptual relationships between water as subject and water as medium.
The question I am addressing is whether in an era of science and computer simulation and huge advances in the imaging of the earth and other planetary systems, there remains a role for traditional media like watercolour in evoking complex interrelationships and processes.
Standing back from the pictorial, reducing the parameters and exploring the fundamental properties of the media allows access to the drama of the interaction of water, paint and paper – which can in some way record and imprint natural processes and forces.
Botany is of course the wrong term for this series of watercolour paintings begun in the autumn of 2018. The aim is to explore the potential to evoke & celebrate the interconnected patterns of nature, fauna and landscape – without literal illustration – but in relation to experience of it. I live in a lush area of rural Cumbria and am often in the Lake District but although I sometimes paint en plein air as an exercise, this series is more about stimulation than simulation.
The question I am exploring is whether and how far it is possible to suggest or mirror the processes of the natural world through some of the inherent capacities of watercolour.
From a series of watercolour paintings made around 2016/7. Watercolour is an exacting medium which requires careful planning together with spontaneity but crucially depends on letting go to allow the materials to complete the process. For me, the tighter the parameters applied the more interesting the organic potential can be.
I was exploring ways to evoke the dynamic planet and its fragile biosphere without being overtly illustrative.